It is estimated that about 5.4 million people are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss. Memory loss is often associated with older age, however, scientists have discovered that memory doesn’t necessarily have to diminish with time. Recent medical findings have shown that delaying or even preventing memory loss can happen with the correct combination of physical and mental activity.
Improvements in memory can be gained through everyday activities. Mental activities as simple as reading or playing board games can stimulate the brain and contribute to the delay and prevention of cognitive decline. Physical activity has also been shown to help keep the mind active and prevent memory loss. Here are a few activities that are great to help prevent memory loss:
Reading: Reading on a regular basis instead of watching television can provide a lot of active mental engagement. Recalling what you read or making predictions about the story’s plot can further enhance the benefits of reading.
Playing Board Games: Not only can board games provide great critical thinking and problem solving skills, but also can be a fun way to socialize. Learning new games can challenge your mind and help increase memory dexterity.
Playing Musical Instruments: Playing an instrument keeps the brain active. Check out the answer to this question for more great information on this: Can music delay dementia?
Learning a New Hobby: Much mental discipline is required to learn a new hobby or skill. Find something that interests you and set your mind to learning how to do it.
Dancing: Dancing is a great way to provide a combination of physical and mental activity. Remembering dance steps engages the mind while the body is staying active. This combination is a great way to help prevent memory loss.
Doing Crossword Puzzles: Scientists have found that completing a New York Times crossword puzzle four times a week will reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by about 50% compared to someone who only does one puzzle a week.
Practicing Memory Exercises: Find games that work on memory, memorize your grocery list, or try to remember stories from the newspaper. Find ways to challenge your memory each day.
It is important to remember that increased brain activity does not guarantee that you can prevent Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. For some people cognitive decline will occur regardless of measures taken to prevent it. However, for many people adopting a direct approach to memory loss prevention can work. Taking steps now to increase brain activity can make a huge difference in memory retention later on in life. The aging process doesn’t start when you turn 65. Choices you make today can have profound consequences for your life as you get older.