Tips and tricks for a healthy memory

 

It’s interesting isn’t it, that as we age, many of us spend a great deal of time exercising our bodies to keep them fit and healthy (and this is a good thing), but we don’t give as much thought and time to exercising our brains, to keep our memory just as fit and healthy.  There is a definite need for Australian seniors to focus on their cognitive health, with 15 per cent of Australia’s population currently aged 65 and over – a number which is projected to more than double by 2056[1]. During Brain Awareness Week, we’ve taken a look at how we can help our brain and memory stay sharp.

 

Most of us do experience memory loss as we age, and this is a natural part of aging, however there are some really simple and easy things you can do to help keep your memory sharp and focused. Of course, if you start to experience significant or unusual memory decline, or have a family history or alzheimers disease or dementia, please see your doctor to make sure it isn’t anything more serious.

 

We spoke to Gerald Quigley (pictured), a leading Accredited Herbalist and Community Pharmacist, with a holistic approach to health and wellness. Gerald is also a respected media health commentator, and regular panelist on The House of Wellness. Gerald believes our health needs constant fine tuning in times of illness and stress, and as we mature, and has given us some simple tips and tricks we can incorporate into our daily and weekly routines to help keep our minds sharp and memory in top shape as we age.

Be social

 

As we get older getting out to meet friends is more important than ever for health.  One study found that those who socialise regularly are happier, less stressed and may even live longer.[2] Join a club with like-minded people so that you enjoy meeting up , and if it’s to do a hobby that can help improve your mental awareness too, then even better.[3]

Learn something new

 

If you fancy challenging your brain, then try your hand at games, puzzles or Sudoku, as these may lend a helping hand when it comes to keeping alert.[4] Research shows that a more challenging hobby or interest, such as computer design, photography or learning a language can be effective.[5]

Exercise regularly

 

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that exercise can help cognitive performance. It is thought this may be because exercise may help stimulate the formation of the brain synapses, and support blood flow to the brain. Aim for 30 minutes of gentle exercise a day, such as walking, swimming, or cycling.[6]

 

Reduce your stress levels

 

You know you can’t think properly when you’re stressed. Combine exercise with stress relief to help improve cognitive function and memory. A study from the University of Waterloo found that even brief yoga sessions and meditation can significantly improve cognitive function and may improve mood levels.[7]

Bacopa support

 

Research suggests the plant-based medicine, Bacopa monnieri, also known as Bacopa or Brahmi, including an exclusive form, CDRI 08, has the potential to support memory and focus. Australian and international research studies showed positive effects with this specific form of Bacopa on its ability to support memory and concentration, as well as being beneficial during times of stress.[8],[9]

 

How do you think you can incorporate these simple tips into your daily routines? Let us know in our comments below. We’d love to share these with our other readers and help everyone towards their healthiest brain.

 

Article Sources:

[1] Trends in Healthy Aging: A Multi-Generation Consumer Perspective – 2015. Published by, Natural Marketing Institute

[2]  http://jech.bmj.com/search/Australian%252BLongitudinal%252BStudy%252Bof%252BAging%252B%20jcode%3Ajech

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2863117/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3885259/

[5] https://www.psychologicalscience.org/news/releases/learning-new-skills-keeps-an-aging-mind-sharp.html

[6] https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/199487

[7] https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12671-016-0661-2

[8] Stough et al.Phytotherapy Res. 2008 122(12):1629-1634

[9] Stough et al. Psychopharmacology (Berl.). 2001, 156(4):481-484

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