Two Weeks to a Better Memory

If you think a fading memory is an inevitable part of aging, you're wrong. Science shows there are plenty of things older people can do to stave off forgetfulness and mental fuzziness. Try the following tips and you may find yourself more clear headed after just two weeks:

  • Challenge your brain. Don't always go for the same easy books and mindless television shows. Pick a novel with a more literary bent or watch a movie that stimulates discussion afterwards. Puzzles are excellent for giving your brain's neurons a workout. Read the hard-news section of the paper, not just the comics. And don't forget surfing the Internet. Recent research from UCLA shows that spending about an hour a day searching online stimulates the brain to organize and retain information more efficiently. Results can be seen in as little as two weeks.
  • Get together. Socializing keeps memory-robbing depression and stress away, and the holidays are a perfect time to make or renew connections. Attend that family party, surprise your neighbors with a seasonal treat, or go to that function at the senior center. Make an effort to talk to people and ask questions. You'll be surprised by how much information you retain!
  • Review your diet. If you're living on empty calories like muffins, soda, and candy, no wonder your mind is muddled. An unhealthy diet affects your brain as much as your other major organs. Why? The trans fats that clog the arteries leading in and out of your heart can also muck up the arteries that deliver blood to and from your brain. Go for good stuff such as fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and foods with brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids such as fish, olive oil, avocado and walnuts. 
  • Move it. You don't have to sign up for a triathlon to reap the memory-igniting benefits of physical exercise. A daily walk around your neighborhood will clear your mind, as will gardening, cycling, or stretch and tone classes. This is because exercise sends blood flowing through the body, including the brain. And don't forget to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day whether you're exercising or not.
  • Organize yourself. A clean, uncluttered home can go a long way towards aiding you in your quest to have a better memory. Keep a special notebook or calendar handy to write down appointments and to-do lists instead of trying to store them in your head. Have one specific place for your wallet, keys and cell phone so you don't waste precious time searching for them.


Sources: Mayo Clinic,; UCLA Center on Aging,