The effects that aging has on the brain and memory, in particular, are caused by inconsistencies about how the brain stores information and processes it for recall. And, brain cells need some of the hormones and chemicals that begin to slow down or disappear as you age.
The brain stores information in different ways, depending on whether it is for short or long term memory. Short term memory might include someone’s name that you just met at a party and long term memory helps you recall childhood happenings. While short and long term memories aren’t usually affected by aging, recent situations such as where you parked your car in a big parking lot might be.
There are ways that you can help preserve your memory and keep remembering things you need to remember. Here are a few ways you can use to keep your memory active:
- Keeping lists of things you need to do and following a routine as closely as possible are good ways to safeguard your memory. Calendars are a great way to keep track of appointments, bills that are due and places you need to be.
- Learn something new such as a table game like chess or grab a partner for Latin dance classes. Dancing has an added benefit of keeping your body busy as well as your stimulating the mind.
- Practice recalling names, doing crossword puzzles and playing scrabble to keep a plethora of words in your memory. Everyone forgets a word they want to use once in awhile, but if this is happening often you should follow-up with your health care provider.
Diet and exercise
Exercise as part of your daily health plan and stick to a diet that’s good for your mind and body. There are things you can do to prevent loss of memory caused by aging, including regular exercise. Aerobic exercising can help increase blood supply to the brain, encourage the development of neurons and helps them all to connect properly.
Also, a balanced diet can do wonders for your memory. Research has proven that those who eat nutritional diets are smarter than those who frequent a high fat and unhealthy diet. If you think you’re not getting enough vitamins and nutrients, take a supplement and to be sure that it benefits your brain, be sure to take folic acid, Vitamins C and E and B6 and B12.
Dementia or normal aging?
Besides the side effects of aging, depression may cause memory loss as can dementia, medications, strokes, stress, the amount of alcohol consumed, and the worst – Alzheimer’s disease. If you suspect that any of these situations may be the problem causing your memory loss, see your doctor and be sure to write down all the symptoms so that he or she can better diagnose the problem.
Memory problems are irritating, but rarely severe. If it begins to affect your lifestyle and the problems begin to seriously permeate your daily existence, don’t hesitate to seek medical help. The sooner your memory problem is diagnosed, the quicker the condition can be improved with the proper help from your health care provider.