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Brain Power!

We all have little lapses in memory like leaving the keys in the door, forgetting someone's name, or missing an appointment. No matter what your age, exercising your brain can make a difference in maintaining memory capacity.

Here are some activities that can strengthen your memory and help you stay mentally sharp:

1. Stay mentally active…

Just as physical activity helps keep your body in shape, activities that stimulate the mind help keep your brain in shape, and memory loss at bay. Do crossword puzzles, read a section of the newspaper that you normally skip, or learn to play a musical instrument. Volunteer at a local church, school, or community organization. Journal writing and working with your hands to build or create can help as well.

2. Socialize regularly…

Social interaction helps ward off depression and stress, both of which can contribute to memory loss. Look for opportunities to get together with loved ones, friends, and others. This is especially necessary if you live alone. When you're invited to share a meal or attend an event, go!

3. Get organized…

You're more likely to forget things if your home is cluttered. Jot down tasks, appointments, and other events in a special notebook or calendar. You might even repeat each entry out loud to help cement it in your memory. Keep your to-do lists current and check off items you've completed. Set aside a certain place for your wallet, keys, and other essentials and always return them there.

4. Focus…

Limit distractions, and don't try to do too many things at once. If you focus on the information that you're trying to remember, you'll be more likely to recall it later. It might also help to connect what you're trying to remember to a favorite song or another familiar concept.

5. Eat a healthy diet…

A heart-healthy diet is as good for your brain as it is for your heart. Focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Choose low-fat protein sources, such as lean meat, skinless poultry, and fish. What you drink counts, too. Not enough water or too much alcohol can lead to confusion and memory loss.

6. Include physical activity in your daily routine…

Physical exercise can also increase mental abilities. Physical activity increases blood flow to your whole body, including your brain — which may help keep your memory sharp. Always consult your doctor before beginning and while maintaining a regular exercise regimen.

7. Manage chronic conditions…

If you're worried about memory loss – especially if memory loss affects your ability to complete your usual daily activities – consult your doctor. She or He will likely do a physical exam, as well as check your memory and problem solving skills. Sometimes other tests are needed as well. Treatment will depend on what's contributing to the memory loss. Follow your doctor's treatment recommendations for any chronic conditions such as thyroid problems, high blood pressure, and depression. The better you take care of yourself, the better your memory is likely to be!

#HealthyAging #AlzheimersAwareness #ALZORG #ASMCNET #BrainPower

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