As you get older, you may start forgetting things more often. These memory lapses are normal and not usually a cause for concern. Think of your brain like any other muscle in your body, it needs stimulation to keep it working properly. You can improve your memory, concentration, and thinking by keeping your brain active.
Doing some of these activities daily will keep your mind sharp.
Play a game. A crossword puzzle uses all the knowledge you have been collecting over the years. Playing a card game or number game keeps your brain active with the strategy and thought involved. Other games like word searches or Sudoku are fun ways to pass the time and challenge yourself.
Jigsaw puzzles are great exercise for short-term memory and patience. Putting together a puzzle relies on observational skills and planning. Large puzzles cannot be completed all at once, so it requires you to stop and start up again later. Keeping track of where you left off keeps your memory engaged even when you are not actively doing the puzzle.
Learn to do something new like play an instrument or take a cooking class. New skills require your brain to stay active as you are learning. Try a new activity that requires thought and movement, like dancing.
Read books aloud. Reading aloud keeps your mind and mouth in sync. It can help you remember the information you read better.
Learn a new language. Speaking another language is the ultimate brain exercise. It takes a lot of ability to remember different words. Understanding other languages uses many parts of the brain. People who speak more than one language have decreased risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Learning another language is useful if you are planning to travel a lot in your retirement.
Do something outside of your routine. Take a new route when driving. Go to a new grocery store. Schedule appointments for different days of the week and keep an active schedule. Variety will help keep your mind sharp.
Write yourself notes and schedule tasks. Keeping track of your activities can be good for many reasons. Writing things down uses your fine motor skill and keeps you organized. And let’s face it, we have all forgotten an appointment from not writing it on the calendar!
Stay physically fit. Exercise keeps your body healthy. Studies show that regular exercise is also good for your brain. It increases blood flow to the brain and keeps it working properly. Working out improves your hand-eye coordination. Consider playing a new sport. It will improve your coordination and balance.
After you work up a mind sweat, treat yourself to a brain-friendly food. Fatty fish like salmon, trout, and sardines have nutrients that help with learning and memory. Coffee, blueberries, nuts, dark chocolate and eggs are everyday foods that support memory and brain development.