Most of us expect to lose a bit of our memory as we grow older. Some people can have memory issues as they age. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are not going away, nor do we have a vaccine to prevent the brain’s debilitating diseases.
Memory Maintenance and Enhancement
https://health.usnews.com/health-care/for-better/articles/maintaining-and-enhancing-memory What does the brain need to be healthy? Blood flow and oxygen! What inhibits the brain from full functionality? Sugar, sleep deprivation, dehydration, smoking, excessive salt, and more. We have control over things that both help and hurt our brains.
Exercise and Brain Health
https://health.clevelandclinic.org/why-exercise-protects-your-brains-health-and-what-kind-is-best/ Exercise provides the blood flow and oxygen needed for brain health. However, not all activity delivers the required levels of oxygen to maintain and enhance memory.
Blood must flow for a minimum of 30 minutes every other day to keep the brain properly infused. Blood flow happens when your heart is pumping at a rate above resting. Exercises such as running, cycling, fast walking, and swimming increase your pulse rate.
Exercise promotes cardiovascular health as well as brain health. Regular exercise reduces inflammation and stress.
Learning and Brain Health
https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthy-aging/rev-up-your-thinking-skills-by-trying-something-new Our brains thrive on challenges. Technology today allows us to learn things away from the classroom. Within the past couple of decades, scientists understand that cellular growth in the brain is not limited to the number of brain cells you have at birth.
Through neuronal plasticity, the brain changes. Learn something new, and you develop new brain cells. Connections in the brain form, and your brain is more powerful. Social interaction and engagement are methods of enhancing neuronal plasticity.
We can negate new learning by poor lifestyle habits. Sleep deprivation, high levels of untreated stress, constant overeating, sugar overload, and couch-potato confinement counter any gains made with new cellular development.
Many museums opened their virtual doors during the pandemic for people to travel the world free. Volunteering at church or charity events allows new social intercourse with strangers. Solving puzzles, eating unusual foods, learning languages, and more are great options to rev up your brain’s capacity.
Maximize Sense Exposure and Brain Health
https://elemental.medium.com/want-to-get-healthier-hack-your-five-senses-ddc9e749c41b The brain receives signals continuously from sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch. Neural pathways transmit these senses. Many scientists believe if you can use two or more of your five senses simultaneously, the brain will remember faster and longer.
I can read a set of instructions to use new software for creating an e-book. When I read those instructions and watch a video on YouTube that shows me each step, and I hear the instructor lead me along the way, I learn faster. Multiple senses amplify the learning process.
The link above has some excellent information about each of the five senses and incorporates multiple options into our learning modes.
Sleep and Brain Health
https://amerisleep.com/blog/sleep-impacts-brain-health/ Daily body repairs occur during the sleep cycle. Activities such as toxin removal, muscle repair, healing and housekeeping mechanisms, new information organization and storage, appetite regulation, and many more things happen during the sleep cycle. Disrupt it often, and your brain will be affected.
The body needs rest after exercise. The brain does not shut down during the 24/7 process. It works full-time. However, the sleep cycle allows the brain to catch up, rest, recuperate and be better prepared during the next wake cycle.
Some of us do Sudoku, play chess, solve crossword puzzles, and more. Solving challenges is only part of the big picture for better, longer-lasting memory.
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com