Keep Your Memory Working

Discussion in 'Health and Lifestyle' started by Adam's Apple, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    Mind Aerobics: 10 ways to get your memory in shape
    By Susan Jacoby
    February 2005

    Excerpted article

    ...you hear the same stories about memory glitches—time-consuming searches for misplaced glasses and keys, difficulty recalling names only minutes after an introduction and, perhaps most frustrating of all, coming up empty when a familiar word is on the tip of the tongue...

    What often leads to these lapses are "brain busters" such as fatigue, depression, poor physical health and medication, says Janet Fogler, a clinical social worker at the University of Michigan’s geriatric clinic and co-author of Improving Your Memory: How to Remember What You’re Starting to Forget.

    Stress is another factor getting closer scrutiny. Researchers at Yale Medical School, for instance, reported in the journal Science last fall that stress activates a brain protein called kinase C, or PKC, that can undermine short-term memory. Other researchers have found that sustained high levels of the stress hormone cortisol can damage the hippocampus, a part of the brain that’s central to memory.

    It’s possible to fight brain busters, scientists increasingly believe, by taking control of your life and reducing stress. What works is a strategy to improve overall health—and to stimulate the brain with exercises that Small calls "aerobics for the mind."

    "The next big fitness movement is the brain fitness movement," says Small, who wrote The Memory Prescription. "We can modify a lot of the risk factors for brain disease in the same way that we can reduce the risk factors for, say, heart disease."

    Get a jump-start. Here’s a 10-step memory workout based on the latest scientific findings.

    1. Exercise regularly
    Aerobic activity—walking, dancing, biking, for at least 20 minutes three times a week—increases blood flow and the delivery of oxygen, sugar (as glucose) and nutrients to the brain. In 2003 researchers from Wayne State University and the University of Illinois, Urbana, showed that aerobic fitness may reduce the loss of brain tissue common in aging.

    2. Stick to a healthy dietAvoid sugar and saturated fat. And eat lots of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, spinach and beets. Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology reported in December that the magnesium found in dark green, leafy vegetables appears to help maintain memory.

    3. Learn something new
    Mastering activities you’ve never done before, such as playing the piano or learning a foreign language, stimulates neuron activity. For best results, remember this: People exposed to positive reinforcement before completing memory exercises scored well above others exposed to negative reinforcement in a study led by Thomas Hess, a North Carolina State University psychologist.

    4. Get enough sleep
    Too little sleep impairs concentration. Anecdotal evidence shows a good night’s sleep appears to boost memory after learning something new.

    5. Devise memory strategies
    Make notes or underline key passages to help you remember what you’ve read. Invent mnemonics—formulas to help you remember things. An example in Fogler’s book: a man’s two cars—one tan, one black—had gas tank doors on opposite sides. To remember which was which, he associated the lighter-color car with the word "left," the side the gas cap was on.

    6. Socialize
    Conversation, especially positive, meaningful interaction, helps maintain brain function.

    7. Get organized
    Designate a place for important items such as keys and checkbooks. Keep checklists for things like daily medications or items to pack when you travel.

    8. Turn off the tube
    Some experts say too much TV watching weakens brain power.

    9. Jot down new information
    Writing helps transfer items from short- to long-term memory.

    10. Solve brainteasers
    Crossword puzzles, card games and board games like Scrabble improve your memory. Other games are good for remembering numbers (Concentration), spatial concepts (pinball, pool) and strategizing (chess, checkers).

    http://www.aarp.org/bulletin/yourhealth/mind aerobics.html
     
  2. musicman
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    musicman Senior Member

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    11. Get your news from sources other than the alphabet networks. It's no damned wonder people are confused, after thirty years of being told that up is down by the likes of Rather, Brokaw, and Eason Jordan. Free your mind!

    Sorry, AA - I couldn't resist. Great article!
     
  3. krisy
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    krisy Senior Member

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    Good article,Adam. I had always prided myself on a good memory until I got pregnant with my second child. I thought I was just forgetting things because I was pregnant(I had read that this happens). After her though,it just went downhill-lol!! I did attribute most of it to stress,while we were trying to buy our house,get bills paid,etc. I stil don't have the memory that I used too at the grand ol age of 31. I have been trying to read more and eat better though. My mom is 54 and every morning gets up and does a crossword puzzle in the morning so she can keep her brain challenged. If you have a job that is more physical,like I do,I beleive it is important to do these kinds of things as you get older.
     
  4. sagegirl
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    sagegirl Member

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    Great advice for all of us. :thewave:
     
  5. Joz
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    Joz Senior Member

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    My mother has Alzheimer's. We've been told that a narcissistic personality is more prone to this disease; which she fits quite well. The possibility because they concentrate on themselves so much and don't develop the other parts of the brain. This was a good reminder.
     
  6. musicman
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    musicman Senior Member

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    So, what are you saying? :tng:
     
  7. Joz
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    Joz Senior Member

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    Ass.
     
  8. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    Musicman, I don't mind anything you have to say about my posts. Your humor is entertaining.
     
  9. musicman
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    musicman Senior Member

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    Thanks, bro!
     
  10. Merlin1047
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    Merlin1047 Senior Member

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    1. Exercise regularly - Well I tried to take up jogging but quit because it caused me to spill my tequila sunrise.

    2. Stick to a healthy diet - You're a sick bastard, you know that?

    3. Learn something new - Why? I know everything I want to know already. Actually, there's a lot of shit I'm trying to forget.

    4. Get enough sleep - I do. It's called going to work.

    5. Devise memory strategies - Oh yeah - that's good. So now I remember some little mnemonic device, but forget what the hell it's supposed to remind me of. Another grey cell shot to hell.

    6. Socialize - I do. But it seems that when I get done my memory is real fuzzy, I have a hell of a headache and my mouth tastes like I ate a dirty sock. How the hell is that supposed to help my memory???

    7. Get organized - I'll get around to that one of these days - maybe. But chaos is comfortable.

    8. Turn off the tube - What - and forego that stimulating, highly intelligent, thought-provoking medium? Are you nuts?

    9. Jot down new information - I do. But I lose it as soon as I wash the back of my hand.

    10. Solve brainteasers - I'm working on one right now - should the grenadine in a tequila sunrise be poured down the center or down the side of the glass?




    :dance:
     

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