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Strengthen Your Memory by Playing Games

Memory lapses can be both embarrassing (what’s my neighbor’s kid’s name again?) and troubling (is it Alzheimer’s?). But a few slip-ups don’t necessarily doom you to a future of forgetfulness. A memory is made by linking two or more of the 100 billion nerve cells in your brain, called neurons, then solidifying the connection so you can use it later, says Neal Barnard, an adjunct associate professor of medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine, in Washington, D.C. And “your brain continues to develop neurons and build new connections to strengthen memory as you age, a phenomenon called neuroplasticity,” says Brianne Bettcher, a neuropsychology fellow at the University of California, San Francisco, Memory and Aging Center. “So it’s never too late to improve your powers of recall.” That’s where these nine strategies come in. They’ll help you hone your memory today and keep it robust for years to come.

Fun is the prescription for a stronger brain

  1. Get More Sleep (aim for 7-9 hours a night)
  2. Jog Your Memory (literally, by doing some cardio activity)
  3. Have Some Food (and Drink) for Thought (start with some blueberries)
  4. Choose Smart Supplements (like fish oil which lowers the risk of dementia)
  5. Get Still/Meditate (improves concentration and focus)
  6. Do Something Out of the Ordinary (new experiences improve recall)
  7. Check Your Medicine Cabinet (a number of medications can affect memory…)
  8. Get Checked Out (for gluten sensitivity and thyroid disease)
  9. Challenge Your Head (do fun activities that make you think)

For fun and interactive brain games, visit: http://www.aarp.org/health/brain-health/brain_games/

SALMON Health and Retirement