Many of us are concerned about losing our memories as we age. And for some, the prospect of taking medications is disconcerting. There are some things you can do to improve your memory, though, in a natural way. Here are some tips.
1. Get regular exercise. This oft-repeated advice is repeated for a reason. It's vital to your health and there's simply no substitute for it! Exercise improves memory by increasing circulation. Getting more blood to the brain is key to its proper functioning.
2. Drink a small glass of wine daily, or at least several times a week. Studies have linked moderate wine consumption with improved memory in the elderly. Don't attempt this, however, if you have risk factors such as a tendency toward alcoholism or depression. And remember, it's wine that is the beneficial alcoholic beverage. Beer and liquor have not been shown to enhance memory at all.
3. Herbal supplements can help. Ginkgo biloba is perhaps the best known, and for good reason. It helps improve circulation overall, but specifically it aids in getting blood to the brain. Other herbs that are good for your memory are rosemary, St. John's Wort, and basil. Just sniffing fresh basil is said to improve memory.
4. Engage in visualization and find associations. For example, if you have to pick up your daughter from soccer at 3pm, think of your daughter playing with 3 soccer balls with watches strapped around them. It's a weird image, but its unique quality will help it stand out and remain at the forefront of your consciousness.
5. Read. Read books, magazines, articles, and so forth. Read something new. Always have something that you're working on reading.
6. Eat brain foods. Healthy fats, such as those found in nuts, fish, and avocados are very healthy for the brain.
7. Do not smoke. If you do, quit; if you don't smoke, don't start. Smoking constricts blood vessels and limits blood flow to the whole body, including the brain. In fact, patients suffering from dementia and Alzheimer's disease can bring on an "attack" of symptoms if they have a cigarette.
8. Get a healthy amount of sleep each night.
9. Set aside the calculator and engage in mental arithmetic. Balance your checkbook using only your mind, then check your work with a calculator. Do math problems in your head when you have a few moments, such as sitting at a red light.
10. Work puzzles, such as jigsaw and crossword puzzles. Rebus and Sudoku puzzles are also good for keeping your memory sharp.