How to Improve Memory After 50
George Burns once said, “By the time you’re eighty years old, you’ve learned everything. You only have to remember it.” How much can you remember now in midlife?
According to an article on The Guardian, memory loss can start as early as age 45. As the years go by, the effects can worsen.
By the time we’re eighty, we’ll likely struggle with absentminded queries (like where we put the phone) as well as major milestones (like when we got married.) This can be devastating for many people who want to keep their memories alive, not knowing if they’ll suddenly disappear into thin air.
However, this is not the time to give up and accept the fact that you’ll lose every single memory to age. At this stage in life, you have the opportunity to preserve your memory after 50 and even enhance it so those moments you hold dear aren’t lost to time.
Proactive choices made on a regular basis can help strengthen your memory skills, even during midlife.
Now, one of the easiest ways to improve your memory after 50 is to change your diet. We don’t mean overhauling your entire menu, but substituting a meal or two for something more mentally beneficial. Here are a few recommendations:
For memory, eggs can be an asset. Why? They contain large amounts of choline, which helps form stronger mental cognition.
In fact, a study referenced by CNN even potentially found a link between higher levels of choline in midlife and a reduced risk of dementia.
For better brain function, they’re “eggs”actly what you need!
Getting your omega-3s in can be a major deposit to your brain’s memory bank. Not all fish contain high-levels of omega-3s, but salmon is an exception.
According to Reader’s Digest 3.5 ounces contains 1.5 grams of omega-3s. For comparison, catfish only possesses 0.3 grams.
Guess the catfish is out of the bag now (or rather, the grocery bag!)
Walnuts are another great source of omega-3s. Actually, the levels of DHA (a type of omega-3) in walnuts have been known to aid cognitive function in adults and prevent decline later in life.
Not only that, they also play a role in maintaining a healthy heart by lowering the risk of high blood pressure.
These little guys are “nut”hing short of fantastic!
In order to build strong muscles, your body needs a proper workout. So does your brain. Here are some memory-boosting strategies that will help lift your brain power to new heights:
Need to remember a grocery list? What about a group of tasks you need to accomplish? Use a mnemonic device, which is simply just a condensed method for remembering lengthy information. T
he most common devices include acronyms, rhymes, and the Method of Loci.
In this method, you imagine each of the rooms in your house and associate everything you need to remember in one of the rooms.
So, do you need to buy copier paper? Place it in your mental computer room. What about toilet paper? Imagine your bathroom and place on a roll on the counter.
The Method of Loci may seem loco, but it really works!
It may be difficult to recall the name of that caterer you hired last year or that co-worker you rarely talk to, but what about the person you just met? You can choose to remember, just as you can choose to order a plate of salmon (which you might want to start doing more often!)
Memory isn’t typically thought of as a conscious choice, but when it’s something we label as important, we do choose to keep that information in our minds longer, since we’re more concerned with its retention.
And when we encounter issues with this retention, that’s when repetition becomes key.
Repeating a name back over and over can help the information sink in. By hearing it or writing it down, we familiarize ourselves with it so thoroughly, we don’t have to think about it anymore. This is crucial if we want a strong, durable memory, but it can only happen in conjunction with assimilation.
Assimilation is the process of associating current information with something previously learned in order to form a lasting connection.
In other words, repetition is the glue, but assimilation is the adhesive — nothing would stick without it. Finding as many similarities as possible is what helps our brain process the information more efficiently and make them easier to recall.
So make as many mental connections as possible. By doing so, you’ll create a delicate framework by which all your memories can be stored for future use.
Savor those Precious Memories
Our memory is sacred, and it should be treated as such. Filling our bodies with good food and increasing our mental capabilities with simple tricks are just some of the ways we can prolong our ability to recall our treasured memories. And by remembering the past clearly, we can continue to be our best selves well into our senior years.
For additional tips on memory and other health-related subjects, visit Beachbody.
Don’t worry — we’re easy to remember!