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10 Brain Fitness Tips to Reduce Memory Loss

These brain fitness tips will fight age-related memory loss and improve overall brain health. Plus, these cognitive exercises are easier — and more fun — than you think!

“Men forget everything; women remember everything,” said comedian Rita Rudner. “That’s why men need instant replays in sports. They’ve already forgotten what happened.”

The more brain fitness exercises you do, the less memory loss you’ll face as you age! These 10 brain-building activities are easy and effective. For more information on brain health, read Michelle Schoffro Cook’s The Brain Wash: A Powerful, All-Natural Program to Protect Your Brain Against Alzheimer’s, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Depression, Parkinson’s, and Other Diseases.

10 Brain Fitness Tips to Reduce Memory Loss

1. Do “neurobic” exercises for brain fitness. Certain cognitive exercises can create new associations between different brain parts and reduces memory loss, according to neurobiologist Lawrence Katz of Duke University. Neurobics include getting dressed or showering in the dark, switching what you normally wear on one side to the other (e.g., put your watch or bracelet on your opposite wrist), or even hanging pictures upside down.

2. Limit your alcohol intake. The more alcohol you consume, the lower your brain volume becomes, which leads to memory loss and poor concentration. Scientists at Wellesley College in Massachusetts found that low to moderate levels of alcohol helps protect your health from cardiovascular disease, but heavy drinking shrinks brains. These researchers define heavy drinking as more than 14 drinks per week, moderate drinking as 8 to 14 drinks per week, and low as less than 7 drinks per week.

4. Try something new to reduce memory loss. An active brain can slow the mental decline that comes with age. “A lifetime of good mental habits pays off,” says University of Alberta researcher Dr. Dennis Foth. “People who are curious at a young age are more likely to be mentally active and stay active as they age. And we found it’s never too late to start. With a little effort, even people in their 70s and 80s can see dramatic improvements.” Fun brain fitness tips include memorizing poetry, learning a new musical instrument, or taking Spanish or French lessons.

4. Smell the sandalwood. “Natural scents have a direct pathway to the brain, and research shows that some chemical constituents of aromatherapy oils, particularly…sesquiterpenes can cross the blood-brain barrier and increase oxygen flow to the brain,” says Schoffro Cook, author of The Brain Wash. Extra oxygen increases energy, immune function, positive moods, and learning. Frankincense and sandalwood are particularly effective at increasing oxygen levels in the brain — which will reduce memory loss.

5. Tango for brain fitness. Dance requires twists and turns that strengthens brain connections. Learning the cha-cha-cha can nourish brain cells, which translates to quick thinking in the real world. “Exercise can protect the brain against environmental toxins by counteracting free radicals and reducing inflammation,” says Schoffro Cook. Physical activity is one of the best ways to promote the growth of new brain cells and reduce memory loss. If you’re particularly concerned about age-related memory loss, read 7 Anti-Aging Tips – Keys to a Long, Healthy Life.

Brain Fitness Tips Memory Loss

10 Brain Fitness Tips to Reduce Memory Loss

6. Volunteer. “Good Samaritans have been found to have lower stress levels and a sense of well-being, factors that add up to better overall health, including brain health,” says Schoffro Cook, doctor of natural medicine. The brain fitness benefits of volunteering include increased mental functioning and better communication skills. The key may be in the “helper’s high” – the sense of calmness and well-being that comes from helping others.

7. Socialize with people. Talking can make your memory better and improve your thinking skills, says Oscar Ybarra, a psychologist at the University of Michigan. Further, he believes that visiting with a friend or neighbor may be as helpful as doing a crossword puzzle. About his study, he said, “Short-term social interaction lasting for just 10 minutes boosted participants’ intellectual performance as much as engaging in so-called ‘intellectual’ activities for the same amount of time.”

8. Strive for variety. Don’t rely on a particular practice, supplement, or food to increase your brain health. Instead, incorporate different activities into your life. For instance, take a child hiking if you normally spend time with adults; go for a run instead of the usual yoga class. The more you challenge your brain and body, the healthier and stronger they become — and the less memory loss you’ll face. Also, strive for variety in the foods you eat (and read 10 Foods for Brain and Immune Health).

9. Get sound sleep to reduce memory loss. Your brain requires huge amounts of energy to function properly; sleep boosts memory and allows your brain to process information. “Though it’s not sexy, the traditional sleep advice is still effective,” says Dr Rachel Morehouse of the Atlantic Sleep Centre. Sleep little – if at all – during the day because naps rob you of sleep at night. Get up and go to bed at set times. Stay active but avoid exercising in the evening because it keeps you awake. Wind down before you go to bed with music or a book. To keep your brain fit, enjoy healthy food, eat light meals at night, and avoid caffeine.

10. Reduce your exposure to neurotoxins. Avoiding harmful chemicals, food additives, and chemically altered ingredients is a fairly obvious brain fitness tip! While it’s not possible to completely eliminate pollution from your environment, you can limit it. Pure products, organic produce, natural fragrances, whole foods, and fresh air will make your memory better and boost your brain health. If you like wearing makeup but haven’t gone natural yet, read 8 Organic Cosmetics and Natural Makeup Tips.

For more brain fitness tips, read What Are the Best Brain Vitamins? 10 Brain Improvement Tips.

If you have any thoughts about these brain fitness tips — or how to reduce memory loss — please comment below!


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14 thoughts on “10 Brain Fitness Tips to Reduce Memory Loss”

  1. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Hi Ross,

    I think you can rebuild your memory — I think research shows that brain cells can do replenish themselves, contrary to previous opinion. This means that yes, you can improve your memory even if you’ve suffered some memory loss! Just keep up those brain fitness tips 🙂

  2. Limiting my alcohol intake is going to be the hardest step for me when it comes to trying to improve my memory. I just hope that all those years of drinking as a student haven’t completely destroyed my memory capacity!

  3. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    New research shows that gingko biloba doesn’t help reduce memory loss:

    Older adults who used the herbal supplement Ginkgo biloba for several years did not have a slower rate of cognitive decline compared to adults who received placebo, according to a new study.

    “Ginkgo biloba is marketed widely and used with the hope of improving, preventing, or delaying cognitive impairment associated with aging and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer disease,” says Beth E. Snitz, Ph.D., of the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues. “Indeed, in the United States and particularly in Europe, Gingko biloba is perhaps the most widely used herbal treatment consumed specifically to prevent age-related cognitive decline.”

    However, evidence from large clinical trials regarding its effect on long-term cognitive functioning is lacking.

    “In sum, we find no evidence that Gingko biloba slows the rate of cognitive decline in older adults. These findings are consistent with previous smaller studies examining prevention of decline and facilitation of cognitive performance and with the 2009 Cochrane review of Gingko biloba for dementia and cognitive impairment.”

    Source: ScienceDaily — “Gingko Biloba Does Not Appear to Slow Rate of Cognitive Decline.”

  4. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    First-time internet users can boost their brain function in one week by surfing the net!

    “We found that for older people with minimal experience, performing Internet searches for even a relatively short period of time can change brain activity patterns and enhance function,” said study author Dr. Gary Small, a professor of psychiatry at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA and the author of “iBrain,” a book that describes the impact of new technology on the brain and behavior.

    When performing an Internet search, the ability to hold important information in working memory and to extract the important points from competing graphics and words is essential, says Small’s co-researcher.

    Previous research by the UCLA team found that searching online resulted in a more than twofold increase in brain activation in older adults with prior experience, compared with those with little Internet experience. According to Small, the new findings suggest that it may take only days for those with minimal experience to match the activity levels of those with years of experience.

    Source: University of California – Los Angeles.

  5. Thanks Laurie, the admiration is mutual 🙂 I’d love to contribute a guest post, can you email me so I have your contact info, as I can’t seem to find an appropriate method for emailing you via the site.

  6. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Your website — Play With Your Mind — is fabulous. I’m so impressed, Alex. It’s brimming over with of brain fitness tips, brain games, and all sorts of brain links!

    Hope to see more of you in cyberspace……and if you ever want to write a guest post that contains brain tips here on Quips and Tips, just let me know. I’d be happy to have you!

  7. Great list Laurie! I’ve been poking around your site for the past 10 minutes and it looks like you keep yourself busy 🙂

    Anyway, I just wanted to say hi since it seems like we have some similar interests … I just started following you on Twitter so I’ll be able to keepp tabs on your various musings about psychology and mental wellness.

    And for those of you looking for some more tips to stay sharp, you might want to check out my post on the topic at Play With Your Mind.com.

  8. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Regarding how scent affects your brain, I just finished writing an article for Best Health magazine (the online version) about how foods affect your mood.

    What’s especially cool is that even if you can’t – or don’t want to – smell scents such as ginger or lemons, those odours directly affect the neurotransmitters in your brain. Various smells, even when they’re undetectable, can almost immediately lift your spirits by increasing your serotonin and norepinephrine levels (those “happy” hormones!).

    So even if your nose is plugged from a cold or allergies, smelling lemons or sandalwood still affects your brain and emotions (citrus scents like lemon improve your mood).

    This isn’t really a brain fitness tip or a way to reduce memory loss, but I found it fascinating!

    Thanks for your comment, Erin — it’s great to have you here.

  9. I never heard of the scent one, that is pretty amazing though. I fully agree that keeping the brain active and cognitive are great ways to prevent memory loss. Daily activities like crosswords, reading, and other small brain challenges are said to help slow down memory loss.

  10. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for the brain health and tai chi tip, brain injury lawyer! You probably know almost as much as a doctor when it comes to brain injuries and healing 😉

    I’ve been taking an Omega-3 supplement ever since I wrote my article for Health magazine, about staying sharp as you get older. DHA and EPA are fatty acid impoortant for brain fitness and brain health — and I think EPA is slightly more important.

    One brain expert — Sam Wang, a neuroscientist at Princeton and author of “Welcome to Your Brain” told me that exercise is the #1 way to improve brain health! It gets the blood flowing and oxygen pumping…so now I make sure I exercise at least 20 minutes every day and take my Omege-3 with my multivitamin for breakfast.

    If anyone wants me to write an article with more info about brain health — or has a question about brain health — please let me know! I’d be happy to.


  11. brain injury attorney

    Thanks for the 10 brain fitness tips. They are all relevant. Practicing chi gong (tai chi) for half an hour daily would also help to enhance memory and concentration.

  12. Thanks for your comments. Dalitso, what you’re saying reminds me of meditation — which actually has been proven to create a healthier brain.

    I like the idea of variety, and always striving to learn new things. This seems like an easy brain fitness tip because it’s fun 🙂

    By the way, I just wrote an article for Health magazine about sharpening your thinking skills. It should be out in the September, 2009 issue…now if I can only remember to buy a copy…

  13. I believe the best way to maximise your brain memory is not actually
    scientific.I feel like its actually to be positive and inspire yourself through a lot of things like appreciating nature and getting in contact with it,free yourself from normal Eathly events and captivate your brain into a world of imagination in a solitary and quite place.