The possibility of losing our mental acuity is intimidating, especially if you have watched grandparents and parents struggle with their memory as they age. Unfortunately, maintaining a healthy brain and keen memory isn’t as simple as solving the regular Sudoku puzzle.

Instead, there are five things you can start implementing today to help keep your brain healthy and active.

Ensure Your Hearing Is In Top Shape

Many adults suffer from some degree of hearing loss. While the actual cause behind the hearing loss may vary, once a person has experienced hearing loss, their cognitive abilities are in danger.

As one long-term study recognized, hearing loss can significantly speed up cognitive decline in older adults. Even those adults with relatively mild hearing loss experienced accelerated memory loss and disorganization.

An easy way to avoid losing your cognitive ability to hearing loss is to ensure you have your hearing checked on a yearly basis. If hearing loss is detected, be sure to implement your audiologist’s recommendations, such as using hearing aids for hearing rehabilitation.

Follow A Regular Exercise Routine

Not only can exercise improve your balance as you age but regular workouts can also improve your memory. Some of the ways exercise can affect your memory are:

  • Reduces insulin resistance, allowing your body to process glucose (sugar) more effectively. Insulin resistance has been linked to an increased risk of dementia.
  • Stimulates chemicals which encourage growth and revitalization. The renewal of cells in older adults is much slower, which can cause memory to falter.
  • Improves ability to sleep and reduces stress. Stress and lack of sleep have also been strongly linked to cognitive decline.

Health professionals recommend 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic exercise (about 20 minutes a day). If you are up to it, increase your exercise time during the day to see more health improvements.

Make Time For Socialization

Memory loss often becomes more noticeable in retired adults who engage in fewer social activities. Researchers have also seen that older adults who are busily engaged in social activities maintain a higher level of cognitive sharpness than those who rarely socialize. Some of the activities you may want to consider are:

  • Hosting regular family dinners at your home
  • Volunteering in a people-centered role
  • Looking up local meetups for your hobbies

Stick To A Memory-Supportive Diet

The average American diet does not do much to support our brain health. Heavy on carbs and fats, our diets can make us feel sluggish. To keep our memories sharp and keep our brains healthy, try eating more of the following:

  • Healthy fats like fish which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These acids can lower the levels of beta-amyloid proteins. This is important, as high levels of this protein have been clearly linked to dementia.
  • Large portions of vegetables and fruits as they help improve the overall health of your blood vessels. Impaired blood vessels can lead to a stroke which can damage your memory.

Work On Information Organization

As we age, we’ve developed a lifetime of cherished memories. Newer memories often have lower priority in our brains, causing us to forget things like doctor’s appointments, new acquaintances, and what groceries we need. Give your brain a hand and try to use some information organizational tricks to keep better track of your memories.

  • Engage more senses - If you wrote a grocery list, re-read the lists to yourself. This tactic can help you to better remember parts of the list if you forget it at home.
  • Keep reminders on you - Millennials are sometimes attached to their phones for a good reason. They log everything there, from homework reminders to shopping lists. Since you likely carry your phone anyway, keeping reminders on it and setting necessary alarms can be a handy backup for your memory.
  • Connect new information - When you meet new people or have to add something to your routine, try to connect the new information to an older memory. Maybe you had a childhood friend with the same name as your new acquaintance, or better remember your dentist appointment by recalling your last visit with that dentist.

By incorporating these things into your life, you can more effectively protect yourself from memory loss and keep your brain sharp.

Author's Bio: 

Karen is a freelance writer from Utah and often writes about all things related to health, well-being, & home life. She has previous experience as a dental hygienist and currently works in the audiology industry. She hopes to offer information that helps others make simple steps to improve their overall health. As a mother of two, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her family when she isn’t writing.