Most seniors know that a healthy diet, staying active, and brain games can help keep your mind sharp. But there are some other ways to help your memory.
#1 – SIT TALL
When a body is slouched, this defeated position often cause feelings of anxiety and depression, which make it hard to think clearly and remember things. A study of 125 college students, 56% found it easier to do math problems when they sat up straight.
Having good posture improves memory because it increases blood and oxygen flow to the brain, by an estimated 40%.
#2 – INTENSE EXERCISE
Research done at the University of Iowa showed pictures of seniors (average age of 67) on two different days after two different exercise routines. Day one they pedaled a stationary bike for 20 minutes at an intensity level that made them breath heavily, but still able to talk. On day two they simply sat on the exercise bike for 20 minutes. On average, the intense exercise increased their memory. Even more, the memory gain after the one intense workout was equal to several weeks of regular exercise.
#3 – LIMIT TV
Research done at University College London analyzed more than 3,500 participants in a long-term study who were 50 or older with no dementia at the onset. Controls were set for physicl activity, health conditions, demographics (education, etc.). The results found that those who watched tv for 3-1/2 hours daily over six years experienced a drop in verbal memory test scores by 8-10%. Those that watched less tv showed a decrease of 4-5%.
Another study found that watching violent programs elevates stress hormones, which in turn impairs memory.
#4 – DOODLE
The following results were taken from a study at the University of Waterloo after testing a group of younger adults and a group of senior adults. Both groups were given a series of 30 words and asked the groups to either write them down or draw them. Then both groups were asked to recall as many words as possible. Those who drew the words remembered the most, especially in the older group.
Some parts of the brain have deterioration of the retrieval mechanism with age, but the visual-processing regions do not deteriorate. Sketching at any age can help adults keep their memories sharp.
#5 -WALK BACKWARD
Walking backward has shown to help people to recall something. In a series of experiments, subjects viewed a video of a staged crime, a word list, or set of pictures. They then imagined walking forward or backwards, watched a video that simulated walking forward or backward, or actually did walk forward or backward, while others sat still.
The backward motion, whether real, imagined or watched, helped people recall better than sitting still and in most instances, better than the forward motion.