Keeping their mind alert is something everyone would like to do better. In 2001, the National Institutes of Health ran a conference to plan more and better research about what works to keep the mind alert. Their technical term was “cognitive health.” The report called for more research on how people can improve their cognitive health beyond just trying to avoid major diseases.
Memory loss is a common complaint as people get older. Do not assume that problems with memory are a normal part of aging. Many things can contribute to memory problems. These include some medicines, poor vision and hearing, vitamin deficiencies, tiredness, stress, depression, and illness. In addition to treating these problems if you have them, there are things you can do to help improve your mental alertness and memory.
Mental activity keeps your mind sharp and your memory strong. If you continue to learn and challenge yourself, your brain continues to grow. Your brain can store and retrieve information more easily. Ways to exercise your mind include:
Daily physical activity can help improve blood flow to the brain. Recent research is showing that mild to moderate exercise, done regularly, protects and improves your thinking. It may even help you grow new brain cells. Regular exercise helps you to be more awake and alert. If you exercise regularly, you will probably sleep better, too. Lack of sleep or poor-quality sleep can affect your ability to concentrate and remember.
Information comes at you from all directions all the time. There are several steps that you can take to help you manage all of this information and feel more in control.
If you or your family members worry about your memory, get a checkup. If memory loss has been a troubling problem, your healthcare provider may be able to see if there is a treatable cause.