Our cognitive abilities can change significantly with age. Short-term memory increases to 25 years and remains in the same state until about 35 years, and then gradually deteriorates. But the amount of long-term memory reaches a maximum in 70 years – perhaps this is because now people study longer and better, they have to read more, and the elderly can now lead a more fulfilling life.
However, many people’s memory decreases with age, this may be due to both genetic factors and lifestyle, the intensity of intellectual activity, nutrition, physical activity.
1. Train your memory
Try to remember as many details as possible when visiting museums, exhibitions, concerts. Repeat the details you remembered about yourself, try to tell them to your friends in the future. When you meet someone, mentally repeat the name, surname, phone number several times, repeat aloud.
2. Constantly do something new
When you do something new or unusual, your brain creates new connections between cells – it strengthens memory and thinking. It is important to develop as many new neural connections as possible that will help you stay in shape for a long time.
Start learning skills that you have been putting off for a long time. It can be sports, hobbies, learning a foreign language, needlework, etc. Constantly solving new tasks, the brain adapts to the load, and your cognitive abilities will become more flexible in everyday life.
3. Change the usual patterns of behavior
New impressions are important for the reconstruction of neural networks of the brain. Learn a new route for a walk, do everyday things in a new order, try to cook unusual dishes. By changing your daily habits you get new experiences and a lot of valuable information for the brain.
4. Train your brain
Develop your cognitive skills by playing intellectual games or doing brain-building exercises – this is an exciting and effective way to improve your memory.
Crossword puzzles, word games, Tetris, Scrabble, and even mobile apps designed to train memory can be great ideas for strengthening memory. There are also many smartphone apps now that offer interesting brain training programs.
5. Do not forget about the body
Exercise and regular activity are important not only for physical but also for mental health. Studies have shown that regular physical activity is good for the brain and can help improve memory in people of all ages. Regular exercise in middle age is associated with a reduced risk of developing dementia in old age.
6. Spend time with your loved ones
If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then there must be a meaningful relationship in your life. Communicating with other people, especially loved ones, helps you think more clearly and lifts your spirits.
This is especially true for extroverts who use communication with other people as a way to understand and process their thoughts.
7. Eat less sugar
Consumption of too much sugar is associated with many health problems, chronic diseases, in particular, and decreased cognitive function.
8. Eat healthy food
Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA helps reduce inflammation and cholesterol deposition in blood vessels, and DHA protects brain neurons from damage.
Drink less alcohol. Alcohol has a neurotoxic effect on the brain. Regular use can damage the hippocampus, the part of the brain that plays an important role in memory.
9. Yoga, meditation, breathing exercises
Practice mindfulness is a mental state in which you focus on your current situation, maintaining awareness of your surroundings and feelings. Awareness is effective in reducing stress and improving concentration and memory.
10. Maintain a normal weight
Being overweight contributes to the development of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cerebrovascular atherosclerosis, which leads to a rapid decline in cognitive function and the risk of early death.
Maintaining a normal body mass index will help avoid Alzheimer’s disease – a severe neurological disorder in which intellectual abilities gradually disintegrate.
11. Get enough sleep
Lack of sleep leads to an increase in blood pressure and the accumulation of homocysteine in the blood – a substance that damages blood vessels and brain cells. Sleep plays an important role in the transition from short-term to long-term memories. People who work night shifts often suffer from memory problems.
Experts recommend that adults sleep seven to nine hours at night.
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