As you get older, your memory and thinking change. You may notice this when you struggle to find the right word to say in a conversation, forget your keys, and need extra moments to think about where you parked your car. Sometimes, these signs could be due to declining memory sharpness or other medical conditions.
Whatever it is, it’s still best to consider seeking a doctor’s opinion. If it’s just a decline in your memory, then you may want to consider the following tips to keep your memory sharp at any age:
1. Try Nootropics
Popping a pill that boosts brainpower is quite appealing for an older adult trying to prevent dementia, a busy professional wanting a higher position, or a college student trying to ace exams. Thus, smart drugs or cognitive enhancers known as nootropics are on the rise.
Nootropics refer to any synthetic or natural substance that positively impacts mental skills. But before that, these chemicals must meet specific criteria to be called nootropics. These days, prescription drugs, synthetic compounds, and dietary supplements are categorized as nootropics.
Experts say that even caffeine can help improve thinking skills, but you must not overdo this natural stimulant as it can pose health risks. Moreover, caffeine can allow access to neurotransmitters or chemicals in your brain that can help with short-term learning and memory, like acetylcholine.
Others even consider ginkgo, ginseng, and other dietary supplements aside from sticking to tea or coffee. Some prefer prescription drugs or synthetic compounds over the counter, such as piracetam or racetams—a type of nootropic. However, these are commonly used by older adults with a decline in thinking skills.
So if you want to try nootropics, you may want to try this list, according to WholisticResearch. The list contains reviews of the best nootropics on the market as of 2022, and reading them can help you determine what products are suitable for your age or needs.
2. Eat Right
It may sound cliche, but foods good for the heart are also good for the brain. However, finding a perfect brain diet may be challenging since there’s conflicting information about diets like fish oil, kale, and other superfoods. While these are good for health, some argue there’s no evidence to verify how such foods can stop cognitive decline. As such, experts recommend people have a diet that’s rich in olive oil, poultry, fish, whole grains, beans, berries, and vegetables.
You may also want to do the following to keep your diet healthy:
- If you become hungry, choose healthy snacks. Thus, it’s best to have healthy snacks around you.
- Include more omega-3 fatty acids since these unsaturated fats can decrease the protein beta-amyloid found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.
- Drink more often, as mild dehydration impairs mood, brain performance, and memory.
- Avoid refined sugar, as it can shrink the brain. Or it can cause small-vessel disease that causes cognitive difficulties since blood flow in the brain is restricted.
3. Have Enough Sleep
Besides food and supplements, sleep is vital to keeping the brain healthy. It may boost your overall brain health and memory since sleep consolidates memories and clears abnormal proteins in the brain. Avoiding fragmented sleep in three-or two-hour increments may be better. Instead, have a good night’s sleep of at least seven to eight hours. Consecutive sleep gives your brain enough time to store and consolidate memories more effectively.
4. Get Physical Exercises
Physical exercises not only help keep you physically healthy, but it also helps keep your brain sharp. Regular physical activities can help prevent cardiovascular disease and diabetes risk, leading to enhanced memory since such activities increase oxygen to the brain. They also stimulate new neuronal connections and boost growth factors in neuroplasticity. Moreover, exercise can reduce stress hormones and enhance the effects of helpful brain chemicals.
As such, you may want to try these brain-boosting exercise tips:
- Reboot your brain by taking a few jumping jacks or a short walk, also known as exercise breaks. These can help you get past afternoon slumps and mental fatigue.
- You may also want to try physical exercises that require a complex motor or hand-eye coordination skills, as these are good for brain building.
- Priming your learning throughout the day is possible when you exercise in the morning. It also clears away cobwebs or sleep fog when you wake up.
- Physical activities like aerobic exercises keep your blood pumping and are also suitable for the brain. That’s because anything good for the heart is also good for the brain.
5. Keep Learning
You can also achieve better mental functioning in old age with a higher level of education. When you’re studying, you’re in the habit of being mentally active, which can keep your memory strong. And you’re also stimulating communication among the brain cells and activating processes that maintain individual brain cells with mental exercises since you’re challenging your brain.
Especially if your job doesn’t keep you mentally active, you may want to learn a new skill or pursue a hobby. These include designing a new garden layout, pursuing art or music, taking a class, doing jigsaw or crossword puzzles, writing stories, playing bridge or chess, or joining a book group. Preserving and building brain connections is an ongoing process, so it’s best to continuously learn different things from time to time.
6. Keep Socializing
Socializing is also a good help for the brain. It continuously exercises the mind when interacting with other people, improving brain function. When you socialize, you’re maintaining your brain’s cognitive function through visual and conversational stimuli.
Moreover, social interactions can prevent stress and depression, which are factors of memory loss. Especially if you live alone, not interacting with other people may increase the risk of being depressed. Thus, it’s best to get together with friends, loved ones, and other people.
Keeping your memory sharp at any age is essential because you can function at your best when your mental faculties are doing well. You can do so by taking nootropics, eating healthy foods, sleeping well, exercising, continuously learning, and socializing. All of these will keep your brain active, which is vital to keeping your memory sharp. Try them now and see the difference.