Preventing Memory Loss

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Preventing Memory Loss

Memory Loss
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Preventing Memory Loss
Preventing Memory Loss
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It is never too late or too early to take preventive steps to preserve and protect your memory
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InteliHealth
2010-02-10
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InteliHealth/Harvard Medical Content
2012-08-24

Reviewed by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School

Preventing Memory Loss
 
No matter what your age, it is never too late or too early to take preventive steps to preserve and protect your memory. As a general rule, good health habits reduce the risk of illness and the need for drugs — both of which may impair memory function.
 
Research shows that the following things may help preserve your memory:
 
Exercise regularly.
 
Everyone has heard the phrase, "A healthy mind is a healthy body." Quite simply, physical and mental fitness go hand in hand. Those who are still mentally sharp in their 70s and 80s tend to get regular, vigorous exercise. And although it is not known just how much exercise is needed for good mental health, experts recommend keeping physically active throughout the day with time dedicated to some form of aerobic exercise most days of the week.
 
Keep learning.
 
It has been proven that good mental function in later years corresponds to your level of education. However, regardless of your education, you should always strive to be an active learner by challenging yourself, reading regularly and keeping up with current affairs. Learn a new hobby or language; play challenging games that exercise your mind.
 
 
Don't smoke.
 
Although it is not known whether smoking itself impairs memory, smoking-related illnesses do. Studies show that smokers do not remember names and faces as well as nonsmokers do.
 
 
Eat a healthy diet.
 
Your brain relies on adequate nutrition for optimal functioning. Eating well will also reduce the risk of developing illnesses, which cause memory loss:
  • Eat a broad variety of foods.
  • Choose a diet with plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid simple sugars.
  • Use monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils.
  • Use alcohol in moderation.
  • Take at least 400 IU of vitamin D daily, but no more than 2,000 IU per day (unless advised by your doctor to take more).

 

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Last updated June 26, 2014


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