Forget names. These days you can barely remember what you ate for lunch 20 minutes ago. First, you might want to slow down. Then take a look at these seven tips for boosting your brainpower.
Jog Your Memory
Guess what? Your brain benefits from physical activity just as much as your body. Studies from the British Journal of Sports Medicine show that regular aerobic exercise, the kind that gets your heart pumping, appears to boost the size of the hippocampus, the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning.
Author Paulo Coelho once tweeted, “If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it is lethal.” Falling into a pattern is a surefire way to become forgetful. New experiences are what helps your brain retain more information. So next time you pick up the paper, try reading a section you’d normally skip; take an alternate route when driving home from work or head to a different grocery store to run your evening errands.
Social interaction helps ward off depression and stress, both of which can contribute to memory loss. Look for opportunities to get together with friends, even if it’s just once a week. Setting up an articles book club is one of our favorite ways to catch up without worrying about any major time
Games like Lumosity, Scramble with Friends, Words with Friends and Elevate are great and easy ways to keep your brain active. Instead of turning on the TV as soon as you get home, plop down on the couch and unwind with one of these apps.
Turns out, a little caffeine may boost your long-term memory. But, before you down a six-shot Americano, be aware that there’s a sweet spot: A 200-milligram dose–about the amount in a large cup of coffee–will do the trick.
Mind the Wine
We’re sorry to burst your bubble, but a few glasses of wine each night might not be the best of habits. A recent study found middle-aged men who drink more than two and a half drinks per day experience memory loss and cognitive problems up to six years sooner than those who drink more moderately.
Last, but certainly not least, take a moment to be still. Meditation, or the act of concentrating on your breathing, is proven to alleviate stress, which is tied to memory loss. Don’t be intimidated–meditation can happen anywhere, at any time. Simply close your eyes and focus on one thing that makes you happy. Listen to your breathing and let the stress disappear.