Carrying on from yesterday’s post…here are a few more tips to help keep our brains as sharp as a tack.
Practice Peter Piper
Need to remember a name, a place or some important info? Try to create an alliteration around it, and you’ll increase your chance of memory recall later. Mnemonic devices are a terrific way to engage your mind and studies have shown that alliterative devices work even better than imagery for memory recall. Think, “Hot Henry from HR” or “Stinky Sally.” (Just, uh, don’t say it out loud.)
More blood pumping means more blood flowing to your brain. Studies have shown that just 20 minutes of physical activity per day can markedly decrease memory deterioration. This doesn’t mean you have to become a triathlete to keep your brain power, but walking, dancing (which has the double benefit of increasing memory through activity and social interaction), and even sex can help keep you mentally fit.
You’ve probably heard that gingko biloba enhances and protects memory. But there’s a new kid on the block as well: Pycnogenol, an antioxidant derived from tree bark, has been shown to improve memory in senior citizens. Though research on both supplements is still ongoing, they seem promising … provided you can remember to take them regularly in the first place.
Watch the Partying
Guess what? Too much alcohol doesn’t just lead to a hangover. It can actually impair your memory. In fact, a recent study from the University of Kentucky showed that hitting the bottle too hard for two months impairs memory for the next three months. In other words, party too hard for too long and you may not remember any of it later on (which is never a good thing).
Sleep on It
Got something you REALLY need to remember? Read it and sleep. Studies show that snoozing not only protects memories, but helps strengthen them. There’s also evidence that a midday nap can help with long-term memory formation. As if we really needed another excuse to nap during the day, now we know it can help us win “Jeopardy.” Score!