It happens to all of us: you stop at the store and forget the one thing that you needed to remember. You blank on your co-worker’s husband’s name. Where are those darn keys!?! It is normal to be forgetful once in a while, especially if you’ve got a lot on your plate. But even if you’re years away from worrying about senior moments, research shows that memory loss can actually begin as early as your 20s, and continues as you age. Thankfully, taking a few easy steps throughout your day can help you stay sharp, and maybe remember where you put those keys!
- Eat Toast for Breakfast: A Tufts University study found that people who eliminated carbohydrates from their diets performed worse on memory based tasks than those who included them. Why? Your brain cells need carbs, which are converted in your body to glucose, to stay in peak form, says study co-author Robin Kanarek, PhD, professor of psychology at Tufts.
- Take an Exercise Class Before Work: Exercise increases the blood flow to your noggin, bringing much-needed oxygen and glucose for fuel, explains Sandra Aamodt, PhD, co-author of Welcome to Your Brain. In fact, you can learn vocabulary words 20% faster if you try to memorize them after doing an intense workout rather than a low-impact activity, suggests a study in the journal Neurobiology of Learning and Memory.
- Do a Web Search During Lunch: Spending an hour a day looking online for something you’re interested in may stimulate the part of your frontal lobe that controls short-term memory, according to a study from the University of California. “The neural circuits involved in decision-making, visual-spatial, and verbal skills become very active when you do an Internet search,” explains Gary Small, MD, lead author of the study. But don’t mindlessly search, it won’t be effective.
- Floss Before Bed: It’s great for your smile, but it may also do wonders for your mind. When you don’t floss, your gums become inflamed, making it easier for bad bacteria to enter your bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, the bacteria can cause inflammation throughout your body, which can lead to cognitive dysfunction. So floss daily to keep the absentmindedness away.
By taking these easy steps throughout your day, you can hopefully keep your mind sharp and reduce the chance that you will forget things.
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