Prevention (Australia)

8 SCIENCE-BACKED sharpen your TRICKS TO MEMORY

Get your brain into gear, fast, with these simple tweaks.

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1 IMPROVE YOUR BALANCE

Toning your muscles not only trims fat, but can boost brain power, too. A Canadian study found that older adults who included balance exercises in their workout regimen improved their decision-making abilities by 13 per cent in six months. For best results, try a combinatio­n of weight training, walking and balance exercises.

2

YOUR STRESS LEVELS

If you’re having trouble rememberin­g things, your constant worrying might be to blame. A recent report suggests that persistent memory problems could be linked to stress, anxiety and depression. If your nerves are rattled, take a deep breath or two. Regular breathing exercises have been proven to reduce stress levels.

3

CUT DOWN ON TV

New research has revealed that adults who watch more than three and a half hours of television a day experience­d greater memory decline than those who viewed less. So, instead of sitting in front of the box, try a more stimulatin­g activity. Everything from travelling to board games to gardening are all associated with better memory, says neurothera­pist Dr Mike Dow.

4 ADD A LITTLE PACE TO YOUR STEP

People who added speed to their walk via two threeminut­e sprints memorised new words 20 per cent faster than those who didn’t, according to a study. This is likely due to the fact that cardio exercises increase blood flow, triggering growth in part of the brain’s hippocampu­s responsibl­e for memory and verbal learning.

5

EAT PLENTY OF GREENS

Mum and Dad were really onto something! Not only do green vegies provide essential nutrients, such as protein, iron and fibre, but they’re also good for your brain. Recent research in the journal Neurology found that eating one or two servings of leafy greens a day improves your memory and overall cognitive ability.

6

GET IN NATURE

Swap a walk around the block for a stroll in the park instead. Research shows that those who exercise in natural environmen­ts rather than urban ones increase their memory and attention span by 20 per cent. According to study co-author Marc Berman, nature has a calming effect that soothes rather than stimulates the brain.

7 MUNCH ON SOME BERRIES

Eating berries is associated with better memory, says Dr Dow. “It’s believed the antioxidan­ts in berries cross the blood brain barrier, keeping toxins out,” he explains. Which results in improved cognition and motor control. The catch? Berries are one of the most pesticide-laden fruits, which makes it important to buy organic. “Opt for frozen with no added sugar,” he adds.

8 KEEP LIFE INTERESTIN­G

Get off the hamster wheel every so often and add something new to your routine. A study published in the journal Nature found that novel experience­s can boost brain function and memory. How? When something fresh grabs your attention, you’re more likely to remember things that happen both before and after it.

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