Have you ever misplaced your keys or completely forgotten a recent conversation? Have you ever gotten lost while driving a familiar route? We’ve all experienced these moments. And asked ourselves, “Was it a ‘senior moment’ or something more?”
Be warned: Seeing your local doctor about these situations may be fruitless and frustrating. With all the latest medical advances and discoveries, traditional medical practices aren’t up-to-date in dealing with early warning signs of memory loss. A traditional physician may ask you a few questions and do some elementary memory tests, then he or she will most likely say, “Everyone has memory problems as they age. It’s normal.” But is it?
Despite what many healthcare practitioners would have you believe, losing your memory or developing brain fog in your forties, fifties, sixties, or even seventies is not normal—it’s a sign of trouble. But memory loss is not inevitable. If you’re experiencing symptoms of memory problems, early intervention is key to getting results. Now is always the best time to get serious about brain health.
To outsmart your genes, put the brakes on aging and start rescuing your memory, try these three practical strategies:
1. Become a Lifelong Learner
In the BRIGHT MINDS mnemonic, R is for Retirement and Aging. One of the keys to aging well is to continually engage in new learning. Like a muscle—the more you use your brain, the stronger it gets. Whenever you learn something, new neural connections are created. Regardless of your age, mental exercise has an overall positive effect on your brain. On the other hand, when you stop learning, your brain starts dying. Cognitive performance starts to suffer as the internal connections in your brain begin to break apart.
2. Avoid Repetitious Activities
Even if your routine tasks are fairly complicated, such as teaching a college course or fixing a crashed computer network, they won’t help your brain as much as learning something new. Whenever the brain does something over and over, it learns how to do it using less and less energy. Just doing crossword puzzles or Sudoku won’t give you the maximum benefits the brain needs from practicing new learning.
3. Dedicate 15 Minutes a Day
One of the most popular excuses for not taking care of your health is “I don’t have time.” Well, if you don’t have 15-minutes to spare, you may not have a life. Research shows that with just 15 minutes a day, you can significantly improve your brain health. Try a new hobby like painting or playing a musical instrument. Try a new activity like yoga or dancing. Or try learning a new subject matter or language. 15-minutes a day may just change your life.
The best way to sharpen recall, reduce brain atrophy, and address Alzheimer’s disease is to eliminate all of the risk factors with the BRIGHT MINDS strategy.