Our ability to commit new information to memory – and then retrieve it when we need it – slows down over the years.
These strategies will help keep you sharp-witted:
1. Practice paying attention
Forcing yourself to observe and recall the details of your day (Which tie did your husband wear? Did the supermarket cashier have her hair up or brushed?) sharpens your memory, even if you never need the info.
2. Watch a movie
or unwind in whatever way works for you – a long walk, a yoga class, a chat with a gal pal. Stress hormones may interfere with encoding and retrieving information; as you age, chronic elevated cortisol levels are linked to memory impairment.
3. Play Boggle
Do crossword puzzles, or learn a new instrument or language. Mentally challenging activities build fresh connections in your brain, creating “cognitive reserves” that may protect memory later in life.