Keep your mind sharp

With all the advances made in health care, people on the average are living longer. With this increase in the quantity of a normal lifespan, many individuals are working to maintain their health to ensure a good quality of life. This means exercise, not only of the body but also of the mind. Keeping the memory sharp is even more important than ever.
One important reminder is that any technique undertaken to perk up one’s memory will probably not do much to the development of Alzheimer’s disease, which is a progressive physical deterioration of the brain. However, doctors have noticed that patients who routinely work on their memory skills often progress to the serious stages more slowly. Research has also statistically demonstrated that patient loneliness speeds diseases progression.

Activities that keep your mind active will retain your memory skills. One of the best ways to do this is to learn a foreign language. This activity requires keeping memory skills intact to learn the vocabulary and nuances of the language. It also comes in useful if you decide to travel to foreign countries, which is another way to improve you memory. Travel in general keeps the mind alert since the traveler is placed in an unfamiliar place and must rely upon memory skills to move about. Travel is a large puzzle, which the traveler uses memory, maps, guides, schedules and other tools to solve. This seems more interesting than memorizing vocabulary, but both are effective ways to retain memory skills. Actually, learning any new skill will exercise the brain and keep it fit. Many people learn crafts or other new hobbies, and in turn teach them to others, which is also a great exercise.
Participating in puzzle solving, like sudoku and crosswords is an activity popular with many. Word puzzles are effective since they draw upon the memory of words for their solution and sudoku puzzles target the logic portion of the brain. Card games require both memory and logic.

Many health care providers believe that super nutrition and supplements may also keep brainpower at a peak and help maintain memory skills. Certainly, nutritional deficiencies and overuse of drugs and alcohol are harmful to the memory. But ingesting enough folic acid (vitamin B 6) can be effective in slowing the declines in memory that can occur with age and overindulgence. In studies, participants who took folic acid for a month long time period did much better on memory tests that the group that did not.

Other vitamins and minerals that have demonstrated to be beneficial to memory are Vitamins C and E, and Omega 3 fatty acid, which is usually found in fish oils and flax seeds. Anthocyanin, the blue pigment in blueberries, is a powerful antioxidant that is beneficial to brainpower. For centuries, practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine have used Bacopa (Bacopa monnieri), an herb native to India that is appearing in western stores, as a memory and concentration enhancer.

Studies repeatedly show that memory is affected by the person’s state of mind at the time information is introduced. Stress and distraction negatively affect the ability to remember things since they interfere with the ability to absorb and process the information. Try to clear your mind when you are introduced to new people and you may find that you can remember names better.


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