Losing your memory or developing brain fog in your 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, or even 80’s is NOT normal. Just because it happens to so many people and is somewhat common does not mean that it is normal or healthy. It is a sign of trouble and needs to be taken seriously.
Putting a Memory Rescue Plan in Place
If you experience challenges with your memory, it is important to realize that you are on a precipice – you can ignore the fact that you are standing on the edge of that cliff, keep walking and fall off. Or you can get serious about taking better care of your brain, and turn around.
If you want to rescue your memory, here are 7 steps to take:
Love and Protect Your Brain
Just as a parent shields a child from harm, it is imperative to take a proactive approach in keeping your brain safe from trouble. As simple as this idea is, most people never really think about brain security. Remember – your brain is soft, your skull is hard. It is critical that you protect your brain from concussions. You can also protect your brain by reducing your exposure to toxins – such as pesticides, molds, carbon monoxide, cleaning products, heavy metals, drugs, and alcohol.
Know and Optimize Your Important Numbers
Having important health numbers at an optimal level is critical to brain function. However, you can’t change what you don’t measure. Be aware of your:
- Body mass index (BMI) – as your weight goes up, the size and function of your brain goes down.
- Blood pressure (BP) – as your BP goes up, it damages blood vessels which dramatically affects the functioning of your brain.
- Other important health numbers which affect your brain function – testosterone level, c-reactive protein, thyroid functioning, vitamin D level, fasting blood sugar, hemoglobin A1-c, and
Engage in New Learning
Research is clear that new learning and stimulating lifestyles lead to better cognitive outcomes later in life. If your job does not provide new learning opportunities, create them for yourself – take a class, start a new hobby, learn a new language, begin playing an instrument.
Get Good Sleep
Healthy sleep is absolutely essential to a brain healthy life. Sleep rejuvenates all the cells in your body, gives brain cells a chance to repair themselves, helps wash away neurodegenerative toxins that build up during the day, and activates neuronal connections that might otherwise deteriorate due to inactivity. Practice good sleep hygiene to optimize your sleep habits.
Exercise alone is the veritable fountain of youth. The more you exercise, the healthier your blood vessels and blood flow, which leads to overall improved brain function and better memory. Make sure to combine aerobic exercise four to five times per week with weight training two to three times per week. Research shows the stronger you are as you age, the less likely you are to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
Use a Multi-Mechanism Approach
When you get sick or age, it is never just one biological mechanism that fails; it is generally multiple mechanisms, such as blood flow, toxic buildup, nutrient depletion, and inflammation. Therefore, it is important to utilize a multiple mechanism approach to improving brain health.
Attack the Risk Factors for Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias
- Obesity – if you’re overweight, you need to lose weight.
- Alcohol – stop drinking alcohol; it is not a health food.
- Gut health – there is a reason your gut is considered your second brain; balance your gut health.
- Marijuana – negatively affects the hippocampus, your brain’s major memory center.
- Sleep apnea – decreases memory function when untreated.
Dr. Daniel Amen’s newest book, Memory Rescue is available HERE.