How to Workout Your Memory

Information in your brain is collected, stored and retrieved by neural pathways. These pathways are responsible for you being able to solve problems, remember familiar faces and tasks, without exerting a ton of effort.

An adult has millions of these neural pathways that have developed from infancy. One problem is that you need to continually create new pathways. Changes in your lifestyle, as you age, can often lead to pathways not being developed.

This is because you tend to not exercise as much as you get older. You may not pay as much attention to your diet. Both of these things affect your brain and your memory.

If you stay with your regular habits you are not challenging your memory. Your brain requires regular stimulation, regardless of your age. It should always be developing and growing pathways.

There are some simple things you can do to stimulate this production of new pathways. Take a new way home from the mall or grocery store. Take up a new exercise or activity such as golf, dancing, yoga or fishing. Even just going to a museum, an art gallery or a nature hike in the mountains can stimulate your brain and memory.

Your memory is one of those things that you need to use regularly, or you run the risk of losing it. If you feel as though you can’t remember new things or recall old events, then you may be lacking in the stimulation area.

Any type of activity that uses your hands is a great way to sharpen your memory. Playing a musical instrument is a great option, so is doing needlework or some type of craft. Even putting together a jigsaw puzzle is a great way to get your brain working more effectively.

To really stimulate your memory you should look for activities which are new. This way you have to go through the effort of learning and committing to memory a new skill, with new terms and language. Quite honestly, you want to do something that takes you out of your comfort zone.

Your new activity should be a challenge; puzzles, sports, a new language, challenging crossword puzzles and learning a new instrument all fit into this category.

In addition you want your chosen activity to be fun. You should enjoy the challenge and stimulation of learning it. You don’t want to dread the time that you spend on it.

While any new activity may be hard at first, the more you continue doing it, the more benefits you will experience. You will have taught yourself something new and you will have increased your neural pathways.

 

Food and Your Memory

How many times have you been told that you are what you eat? If you eat lots of greasy or sugary foods it eventually shows up as fat and you gain weight. When it comes to your memory, the foods you eat play an important factor in how your memory functions.

Your mother no doubt always told you to eat all your vegetables so you would do good at school. She was absolutely right!

Eating an adequate amount of vegetables will help improve your memory. The best ones to eat are those dark, leafy green ones such as kale, broccoli, cabbage, spinach and collard greens.

If you aren’t a fan of these veggies try eating them in your salad. Or you may like to join the green smoothie revolution. Mix up 2 cups of greens, add a banana and some berries, mix with water and you have a tasty smoothie, filled with brain boosting power.

As well as veggies you want to increase your intake of berries. Fruits such as blackberries, blueberries and cherries contain something called anthocyanins. Another memory boosting element.

Omega 3 fatty acids are also great for your brain and memory. These fatty acids contain DHA (docosahexaeonic acid), which has been shown to improve memory, especially in young adults.  The higher your levels are of this fatty acid the more efficiently your brain will function.

Your best sources of DHA can be found in seafood, algae, fish oil and in fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines and herrings. Walnuts and chickpeas are other sources of Omega 3 fatty acids. One lesser known good source is found in crabs. Crabs contain an amino acid called phenylalanine. This helps in the production of adrenaline and helps to keep your thyroid hormones in top shape.

Eating moderate amounts of red meat can also assist in improving your memory. Red meat contains the vitamin B12, which provides your brain with an energy boost.

For seniors who are finding they are becoming forgetful adding extra celery to your diet is recommended. Celery contains luteolin, which helps to reduce inflammation in your brain, this will help reduce the amount of memory loss due to the aging process.

An added benefit of eating these foods regularly is that you are not just improving your memory. You are also improving the health of your heart and this can help you live a longer, happier life.

 

Easy Tips for Maintaining Memory Function

Your brain is an extremely powerful tool and it has an amazing ability to adapt and change, regardless of your age.  This ability to adapt is known as neuroplasticity. This is a natural process which you can harness to increase your cognitive skills, and improve both your learning ability and memory.

One of the first things you need to pay attention to is your sleep patterns. It is so important to allow your body to sleep as it is critical when it comes to both learning and memory.

In addition getting adequate exercise also gets your brain into tip top shape. When you exercise your body you are also exercising your brain. Exercise helps to improve the chemicals in your brain and to protect your brain cells.

Everyone leads a busy lifestyle these days and you need to make time for socializing with your friends. Life would be very boring with spending time with friends and having some fun.

Just the act of socializing with your friends can boost your memory. Interacting with others has shown to be one of the best brain exercises you can do. A Harvard research study showed that people who had active social lives encountered the slowest rate of memory decline.

While meeting with your friends is great, it is not always possible to get together at convenient times. So if a friend isn’t available, why not socialize with your pet.

Laughter is the best medicine and this is very true when it comes to your brain. When you laugh you use multiple areas of your brain and you activate areas that play an important role in learning and creativity.

Not sure what to laugh about? Try laughing at yourself by not taking yourself so seriously. Find people who are fun and hang out with them. Another way to lighten your mood is to keep a fun toy on your desk or a fun poster on your wall.

One of the worst enemies for your brain is stress. If you allow your stress levels to build it can actually destroy your brain cells. It also damages an area of the brain called the hippocampus. This is the region where new memories are formed and where old ones are retrieved.

All of these above points have one thing in common. Which is working on leading a healthy lifestyle, that includes eating right, exercising and making time to be with your friends.

 

Does Your Memory Suck?

Do you feel as though your memory sucks? You tend to forget what you are doing and can’t recall the simplest of things? Well, you are not alone. Hundreds of people, if not more, feel as though their memories are not working the way they should.

You may be surprised to know that no-one has a perfect memory. Your memory is a very complex thing, and it can be difficult to understand how it really works.

One thing to keep in mind with your memory is that certain events can cause you to remember, or not remember them. For example, if you were a witness to a traumatic event, you may remember the event in different ways.

Firstly, you may not remember it at all. Your brain has the ability to block out unpleasant things when it wants too. This is known as a coping mechanism and helps your brain deal with what you had witnessed.

On the other hand, you may find that you can’t stop seeing the traumatic event in your mind. You remember things in such fine detail that you may even think you are going crazy.

Your lifestyle can affect your memory and the way it functions. Certain things such as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly can help you maintain good memory function.

Exercise is thought to release proteins in your brain which help improve your memory. Many older people who reported having a bad memory started exercising regularly. After exercising for just a short time period, they found that their memory improved.

Sleep is another important factor when it comes to your memory. As you are aware your body requires sleep and plenty of it. When you become sleep deprived your memory and your entire body suffers.

Basically when you sleep your memory opens up new pathways. In a person who gets enough sleep these pathways are working at an optimal performance level. This allows them to learn a new task more efficiently than a person who is tired.

In addition you actually need to use and challenge your memory. If you don’t read very often or do any types of puzzles your brain gets lazy. You need to use your brain and memory on a regular basis.

There are lots of sites, books and other options which you can use to challenge your memory and get it working again, the way it should. So your memory may not suck, it may just need a challenge.

 

Caffeine and Your Memory

Most of the time you associate drinking caffeine, as something which is bad for you. When it comes to your memory, though, this may be another ball game altogether.

A recent study was conducted by the John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. This study determined that caffeine can improve certain memories for up to a day after the memory has been formed.

This seems to help solidify the reasoning behind students drinking energy drinks and filling up on coffee and tea right before an exam. A shot of caffeine can boost your memory.

Previously any findings on the benefits of caffeine had been dismissed. So why now are people agreeing that caffeine can indeed help?

Your actual state of mind could determine just how well a boost of caffeine can improve your memory. When you register memories from reading, it seems that the more eager you are the more information you will retain.

This is a different concept to seeing how your natural alertness increases due to drinking coffee or tea. In an attempt to differentiate from being eager and willing, to seeing just how much more alert a person became, an alternative approach was necessary.

In the new study 73 volunteers were asked to look at images of objects, for example, plants, a horse, a basket, or a musical instrument. Once the group had looked at the objects half were given caffeine, about two cups of strong espresso. The remaining volunteers were give a placebo.

The doctors took saliva samples on a 1,3 and 24 hour basis and measured the participants caffeine levels.

The next day everyone was asked to look at a new set of images.  Now, some of these images were the same, some were very similar and others were brand new. The goal of the doctors was to see who could identify the changes that had been made.

The study showed that those volunteers who drank the caffeine found it easier to indentify similar pictures. They were much more alert and picked out the similar images more easily.  The group who had taken the placebo could tell which images were old and which were new. But they had a harder time when it came to the similar images.

This research test was conducted differently to a standard recognition memory test. Viewing the images uses a part of your brain that distinguishes between patterns called the hippocampus. To do this effectively you need to have good short and long term memory.

This type of test is much more difficult and uses a separation process in your memory. This is the process that is enhanced by caffeine and means that drinking coffee may not be as bad for you as once thought.

JD, Coach – Princess Awards.

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