“My brain tends to take the scenic route. Things come to the forefront of my mind sooner or later.” We’ve all had those moments where our brain takes a little longer than we’d like. We forget where we left our keys, phone numbers, and sometimes even the names of familiar acquaintances. The good news is, though, memory loss is not an inevitable part of aging. Our minds may take a little longer to process information, but a healthy, active lifestyle helps keep our minds sharp and our memory revitalized.
Exercise plays a large role in mental health. It help your brain operate at its very best by increasing blood flow to the brain and reducing the risk of disorders that contribute to memory loss such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. So, what type of program should you start? Always check with your doctor before starting any exercise routine, but here’s a few recommendations. Find something that is daily and aerobic in nature.  Take a walk around the neighborhood, choose stairs instead of the elevator, join an exercise class, plant a garden, or find a sport with moderate physical exertion such as tennis. Regular exercise will help you feel and think better.
While physical exercise is essential, don’t underestimate the power of exercising your brain. “If you don’t sufficiently challenge your brain with new, surprising information, it eventually begins to deteriorate,” writes Dr. Mercola.  Look for simple ways in your daily life where you can spend some time exercising your brain. Learn a new hobby, keep up with current affairs, or challenge your brain with fun games and activities through programs like Luminosity and Brain HQ.
Physical and mental exercise may seem like obvious answers towards improving your memory, but here’s one factor you may not have considered: Community! Relationships stimulate the brain and may be the best kind of brain exercise there is. People with the most active lifestyles have the lowest rate of memory decline.  Make room for relationships in your life, find a club or volunteer at an organization and boost your brain with supportive healthy social interaction. Get physically, mentally, and socially active, you won’t regret it!