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Memory Improvement Activities & Exercises for the Aging Brain

Memory Improvement Activities & Exercises for the Aging Brain

Memory Improvement Activities & Exercises for the Aging Brain

Memory Help For the Aging Mind

Memory Improvement Activities and Exercises For the Aging Brain. Okay, is this for real?  Is it honestly true that you can improve an already fading memory?

According to aging experts, yes. It is definitely possible to improve your memory and slow down memory decline, just by doing some simple activities and exercises.

Memory decline is a common issue faced by older people, which can affect their daily activities and overall quality of life. With age, the brain’s ability to store, process and recall information can decrease, making it more difficult to retain new information and retrieve old memories. This decline can be due to a variety of factors, including changes in brain structure, hormonal changes, and the natural aging process.

What Causes Memory Decline?

Memory decline can occur due to a number of reasons including decreased blood flow to the brain, changes in brain chemistry and structure, and certain medical conditions. Some of the most common medical conditions associated with memory decline are stroke, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Parkinson’s Disease.

It’s important to know that memory decline is not an inevitable part of aging.  There are several ways to help improve or slow down the process and keep our brains healthy as we age.

Activities that Stimulate the Brain

One of the best ways to keep the brain active and healthy is to use cognitive stimulation. Cognitive stimulation is engaging in activities that stimulate the brain and keep it active and engaged. Here are some examples of cognitive stimulation activities…

READING

Reading books, newspapers, or magazines can help improve cognitive function by increasing vocabulary, improving comprehension, and exercising the brain.

PUZZLES & GAMES

Sudoku, crossword puzzles, and word games can help improve cognitive function by challenging the brain to think critically and problem-solve (see examples below).

LEARNING A NEW SKILL

Learning a new skill, such as a new language or musical instrument can help improve cognitive function by challenging the brain to learn and remember new information. Resources such as Duolingo and Rosetta Stone offer online language courses, and YouTube has a variety of free tutorials for learning musical instruments.

PHYSICAL EXERCISE

Physical exercise has been shown to improve cognitive function by increasing blood flow to the brain and stimulating the growth of new brain cells. Walking, cycling, swimming, and yoga are all good forms of exercise for seniors. All have shown to have a positive impact on memory and cognitive function in older adults. Resources like Silver Sneakers offer online exercise classes specifically designed for seniors.

SOCIALIZING

Socializing with others can help improve cognitive function by stimulating the brain through conversation and social interaction. Some ideas for social activities include joining a book club, attending a community event, or taking a class. meetup.com is a great resource for finding local social events and activities. Studies have shown that staying socially active, whether it is through volunteering, joining a club, or simply spending time with friends and family, can help improve memory and cognitive function.

MINDFULNESS MEDITATION

Mindfulness meditation has been shown to improve cognitive function by reducing stress and anxiety, which can negatively impact brain health. One simple mindfulness exercise is to sit quietly, close your eyes, and focus on your breath. There are many resources online that offer guided mindfulness meditation, such as Headspace, Calm, and Insight Timer (my personal favorite).

NUTRITION

Nutrition also plays an important role in maintaining good cognitive health in older adults. Eating a healthy and balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein, can help to improve cognitive function, including memory. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish such as salmon, have also been shown to have a positive impact on memory and cognitive function in older adults.

ADEQUATE SLEEP

Finally, it is important to get enough sleep. Lack of sleep has been linked to decreased cognitive function, including memory. Older adults should aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night to help maintain good cognitive health

*It’s important to note that before beginning any new activity or exercise, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional, especially for those with existing health conditions.

Brain Games

In addition to the activities listed above, there are also specific brain games and apps that are designed to improve cognitive function and memory recall. These games include matching games, word games and puzzles. Some popular online brain games include:

  • Lumosity. Lumosity is a popular brain training app that offers a variety of games and exercises designed to improve memory, attention, and flexibility.
  • BrainHQ. BrainHQ is another brain training app that offers a variety of games and exercises designed to improve cognitive function.
  • Peak. Peak is a brain training app that offers a variety of games and exercises designed to improve memory, attention and problem-solving skills.
  • Sudoku. Sudoku is a popular puzzle game that has been shown to improve cognitive function by challenging he brain to think critically and problem solve.

Resources

There are also many resources available for older adults who are interested in maintaining an improving their cognitive function. Some resources include:

  1. Alzheimer’s Association. The Alzheimer’s Association offers resources and support for those affected by Alzheimers and other forms of dementia.
  2. National Institute on Aging. The National Institute on Aging offers information and resources on healthy aging and Bain health.
  3. AARP. AARP offers resources and information on healthy aging and brain health for older adults

In Conclusion…

In conclusion, while memory decline is a natural part of the aging process, there are many activities, brain games, and resources available to help slow down this decline and keep our brains healthy as we age. By staying active and engaged in cognitive activities, older adults can maintain and improve their cognitive function and enjoy a high quality of life well into their golden years.

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How Can Pooping Improve Your Memory? Hint: The Answer is in The Magazine Section at Wal-Mart.

How Can Pooping Improve Your Memory? Hint: The Answer is in The Magazine Section at Wal-Mart.

What Can I Do To Help My Memory?

I suggest you become a defecating cruciverbalist.

def·e·ca·ting
verb: to void excrement from the bowels through the anus; have a bowel movement.

cru·ci·ver·bal·ist
noun: a person skillful in creating or solving crossword puzzles

Pooping + Puzzles = Improved Memory

I’m all about multi-tasking, and there’s seriously little else to focus on when you’re on the throne besides well…being on the throne.

There are some days it’s a quick trip in and out, but there are other days when nature apparently is preoccupied with someone else’s more pressing problems, so there’s a lot of sitting around doing nothing. To me, that’s wasting precious time. Doing crossword puzzles gives me something to do while I’m in the bathroom.

Exceptions to the Rule

Now, there are times when working puzzles while you’re in the potty isn’t a good idea. For instance, when you’re backed up to your eyeballs, haven’t gone in days, and you’ve just felt a glimmer of a possible breakthrough. In that case, you’re going to need complete focus on the business at hand. The better choice here would be to put the book down and do a little meditating. Ommm…

On the other hand, if you’re plagued with the squirts, there’s going to be a lot of flushing, sweating and possible bending in half with stomach cramps. With your hands full juggling various cleaning tools, this is not the ideal situation to try to keep track of a small crossword puzzle book. The potential anxiety this could cause you would hardly be worth the trouble. Don’t even bother opening your book on this trip in.

Crossword puzzle books in bathroom basket

What I’m talking about here is your every day, run of the mill, normal bathroom routine.

I keep my book with pen attached in a little magazine rack along with my bathroom spray next to the toilet.

You know how “they” suggest that it’s healthy to spend at least 15 minutes with and on ourselves every day? Make this your 15.

Okay, hurry and make a quick run to Wal-Mart (I’ll wait). Pick up a crossword puzzle book. I suggest “Easy Crosswords by Dell. You can grab one in the magazine section for under a buck.

I like to buy books that are fairly easy. If I get the more challenging ones, I get frustrated.

The point is not to compare yourself to those obviously gifted individuals who are able to complete the harder puzzles, but to challenge yourself to whatever level you need to get your brain activated and allow you to flex those problem solving muscles.

Crossword Puzzle Books

Setting The Mood

You should be set. Okay, refill your coffee, leave your phone in the other room, head to the “library”, lock the door, and get settled in.

Take a sip of your coffee. Listen to the quiet. Breathe in the clean smell of the bathroom (currently). Ahhhh. Are you feeling your zen?

Okay, now grab your book, hunker down and get after it!

Wait. Is There Proof That Crossword Puzzles Improve Memory?

Glad you asked. There seems to be mixed feelings from the scientific and medical community as to whether doing crossword puzzles actually improves the memory. So that means half think they do, and half think they don’t, right?

Let’s be the ‘cup is half full’ people shall we? I mean if you can’t remember shit right now anyway, it’s not going to make things worse if you do the puzzles and they don’t help.

But let’s say they do help. Spending fifteen minutes a day doing something pleasurable and somewhat challenging that will help you remember your daughter’s name the next time she calls? Phhfff. I’m in! No-brainer.

Will Crossword Puzzles Keep Me From Getting Alzheimer’s?

The thought of developing Alzheimers Disease is scarey, especially if it’s in your family history.

Alzheimer’s is characterized by the presense of “plaques” seen in the brain. The main component in these plaques is a toxic protein called Beta-amyloid that builds up in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkley conducted a study using brain scans to measure changes in the brains of test subjects.

The researchers found that those who were more often engaged in mentally stimulating activities, the less buildup of beta-amyloid they were likely to have in the brain.

Research concluded that reading, writing, doing crossword puzzles and solving challenging puzzles may be linked to a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Crossword

Are There Other Benefits of Doing Crossword Puzzles?

But of course there are. Here are some positive things crossword puzzles can do for you. They…

Improve Your Verbal Skills – I think as we age, we tend to forget there are alternatives to words we use daily. They’ve taught me to change things up now and then when I speak. Instead of telling someone my typical “I’ll make this quick”, instead I’ll tell them “I’ll be succinct”. It impresses the hell out of people when you whip shit like that out.

Teach You Problem Solving – They make you think. Plain and simple. Don’t tell me they don’t improve your memory. I’m exercising the hell out of my memory muscles when I try to think of another word for “goad”, or the first name of “singer Horne”. And you can bet I’ll remember them three puzzles from now when I run across the same questions.

Reduce Stress – They take you out of your head for a short while and make you put your focus on something other than what’s consuming you at the present time. There’s something comforting about filling in those little squares.

Make You Smarter – You learn geography, politics, remember old phrases, learn new slang, bible verses, synonyms, grammar, history, current trends, movies, authors, etc. You become a source of information that makes you a rock star when playing games like Catch Phrase, Password, etc.

Give You a Sense of Accomplishment – When you’ve been stuck on a word for three days and it finally comes to you? Yessss! Puzzle solved. It’s a huge feeling of accomplishment, especially if you had held off peeking at the anwers in the back.

They’re Portable – You can take them anywhere. They fit in your purse, your beach bag, your office drawer. Leave one in your car. They’re a great alternative to mindlessly scrolling through your phone when you find yourself in a waiting situation or need some time to wind down.

In Conclusion…

I believe I’ve made my case that pooping will definitely improve your memory. I’d also like to mention that this proves a common expression untrue…

As you’re sitting on the commode with a brand new Crossword Puzzle book nestled on your lap, rest assured that you will never “Shit Your Brains Out”. Nope. Never gonna happen.

Not only will your brain stay firmly in place while you’re happily solving puzzles during your daily constitutional, but you’ll be providing it the fuel to potentially become stronger and sharper.

If you don’t do crossword puzzles, what other mind stimulating activities do you do that are helping you protect your brain? Share them below.

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