Easy Ager, are you ready to boost your midlife memory? It's actually easier than you think. Some of this information is from a Medical News Today article , and I've curated this list with a couple of new ideas and some familiar ones. The best part of all of this: you can have a better memory in just a few minutes a day! Here's how:
Your brain is a muscle and, like any other muscle in your body, the more you work it, the stronger it gets. In a large trial from the journal PLoS One, participants experienced improvements in brain function by doing just 15 minutes a day of brain training for at least five days a week. They saw significant improvements in their working memory, their short-term memory and their problem-solving skills.
Researchers used exercises from Lumosity.com, a site with games designed to improve speed, memory, attention span and flexibility. You can sign up for a free version or a paid version. The free version is a great starter set of exercises, but you don't get to monitor your progress or select your exercises. I paid for a yearly subscription, and I loved it.
It's been proven over and over again that regular exercise protects the brain and decreases the risk of cognitive decline with age. A study showed that aerobic exercise can even improve memory function in people with early Alzheimer's disease.
Aerobic exercise includes things like brisk walking, dancing, hiking, cross-country skiing — anything that gets your heart rate up a bit and gets that blood going.
I've told you about my amazing mother who exercised almost every day of her life. She did water aerobics, walked, played golf and worked out with a trainer. She was like the Energizer bunny; she just kept going and going and going.
When she passed away at 90, she was in full control of her mind. She recognized all of us, and her memory was intact. She even gave each of us some beautiful words of love and encouragement before she died. And as a daughter, I couldn't ask for more. What a lovely gift that was.
I'm convinced that her regular exercise routine played a huge role in her ability to give me that gift at the very end.
I recently gave Easy Aging® Insiders a meme from Dr. James DiNicolantonio where he said that going to bed early is the new badge of honor. I wholeheartedly agree!
If you can get seven to nine hours of sleep, you can boost your memory recall, reduce mental fatigue, and regulate your metabolism. You're also going to feel better overall. Who doesn't like a good night of sleep?
If you're struggling to sleep throughout the night, you may want to get your hormones checked. Ask your doctor about that if you haven't done this already.
Speaking of sleep, I was having dinner with my friend Randi and she asked, "How are you doing?" I said, "I went to sleep and hurt my back." Her response was, "Oh, I hate when that happens." It's official — We've hit an age where you can hurt your back doing a lot of things, including sleeping. (heh!)
Tai chi is a physical exercise that includes rhythmic breathing, gentle body movements and meditation. A 2019 study showed that Tai chi practitioners had enhanced connectivity between different regions of the brain. This connectivity may decrease the rate of memory loss and improve cognition.
Because Tai chi is so gentle, your fitness level doesn't play a huge role in this. If you're intrigued by this, go on YouTube and search for "Tai chi for beginners," and you'll find a number of videos to get you started. You may also want to check your local community center or wherever you find senior education.
Yay! The compounds in dark chocolate can boost memory, reaction time, problem-solving skills and attention span. It does this by increasing blood flow to the brain.
And don't just eat any dark chocolate. My nutritionist says to make sure it's 70% or more cacao or cocoa because that's where you get the most benefit.
You can find dark chocolate of 70% or more in just about any grocery store, Target or Walmart. But if you're in Texas, let me give you a suggestion. Central Market has an incredible organic dark chocolate with orange — yes, orange! — in it.
I'm so in love with this dark chocolate bar; it's 71% cacao. I try to have a couple little squares every night after dinner because I'm giving myself a treat and helping my brain. I say I try to have two little squares, but sometimes, it's four. ;)
Review the list and see what resonates with you. Then take a fun-sized action on one of these options so you can start boosting your midlife memory today.