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MEMORY BOOST-UP

6 Lifestyle-Based Ways to Improve Your Memory

1. Eat Right

The foods you eat – and don't eat – play a crucial role in your memory. Fresh vegetables are essential, as are healthy fats and avoiding sugar and grain carbohydrates.

2. Exercise

Exercise encourages your brain to work at optimum capacity by stimulating nerve cells to multiply, strengthening their interconnections and protecting them from damage.
During exercise nerve cells release proteins known as neurotrophic factors. One in particular, called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), triggers numerous other chemicals that promote neural health, and directly benefits cognitive functions, including learning.

3. Stop Multitasking

Used for decades to describe the parallel processing abilities of computers, multitasking is now shorthand for the human attempt to do simultaneously as many things as possible, as quickly as possible. Ultimately, multitasking may actually slow you down, make you prone to errors as well as make you forgetful.

Research shows you actually need about eight seconds to commit a piece of information to your memory, so if you're talking on your phone and carrying in groceries when you put down your car keys, you're unlikely to remember where you left them.

4. Get a Good Night's Sleep

Research from Harvard indicates that people are 33 percent more likely to infer connections among distantly related ideas after sleeping, 3  but few realize that their performance has actually improved. Sleep is also known to enhance your memories and help you "practice" and improve your performance of challenging skills. In fact, a single night of sleeping only four to six hours can impact your ability to think clearly the next day.

5. Play Brain Games

If you don't sufficiently challenge your brain with new, surprising information, it eventually begins to deteriorate. What research into brain plasticity shows us, however, is that by providing your brain with appropriate stimulus, you can counteract this degeneration.

One way to challenge your brain is via 'brain games,' which you can play

6. Try Mnemonic Devices

Mnemonic devices are memory tools to help you remember words, information or concepts. They help you to organize information into an easier-to-remember format. Try:

  • Acronyms (such as PUG for "pick up grapes")
  • Visualizations (such as imagining a tooth to remember your dentist's appointment)
  • Rhymes (if you need to remember a name, for instance, think "Shirley's hair is curly)
  • Chunking, which is breaking up information into smaller "chunks" (such as organizing numbers into the format of a phone number)