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Increase your memory power

MISPLACING your car keys, going blank on the name of a colleague's wife, and spacing on why you walked into a room can set you into a panic - is your memory fading? Can it be early-onset Alzheimer's?

Carolyn Brockington, M.D., director of the Stroke Programme at St. Luke's - Roosevelt Hospital in New York City said the reason your mind fumbles is likely very simple.

"Most short-term memory loss is stress-related. We are all running around doing a million things, and although many people think they can multitask well, the brain sometimes has trouble moving from one thing to another, and back again,

"The problem isn't your memory, it's that you need to concentrate more and make a conscious memory of things that you will want to recall later."

1 Get your heart pumping - You can build brainpower the same way you build flat abs. Eating right and exercising for at least 30 minutes five days a week are key to keeping your head strong and healthy. Peter Pressman, M.D., a neurology fellow at the Memory and Aging Centre of the University of California, San Francisco said: "If you exercise and get your heart rate above 60 percent your maximum, you may improve your cognitive reserve - your backup of healthy brain cells -  to fend off diseases in the long run," he said.

2 Memorise "The Monster" - Exposing your mind to anything new means you are learning, which is key to a healthy brain. So try to learn the lyrics to the new hit from Eminem and Rihanna, or if you are a hip-hop fan, choose a song outside of your favourite genre.

3 Hit the "delete" button - Your brain is being overloaded with more information than ever - news, work, bills, passwords. Take a load off by making several lists. Separating what you have to do into small manageable lists really helps relieve some stress from having to keep track of it all.

4 Snooze longer - You have heard that sleeping 12 hours on Saturday won't make up for the fact you have got five hours most nights of the week. Sleep is not just important for renewal physiological health but also for psychological health. How it affects the brain is unclear, but there is a cumulative effect to your memory.

According to the National Institute of Health, creating a sleep debt of just an hour a day can impact your performance, ability to process information, and mood.

5 Unplug from your devices - Your memory is like a Groupon - use it or lose it. So while it's convenient to never have to memorise phone numbers anymore; commit to memory at least five key phone numbers - such as your best friend's, boyfriend's, boss's, brother's, and therapist's - and start relying on GPS or Google Maps less often.

6 Swap FaceTime for face time - One-on-one interaction with a human being - and not via a screen - is like investing in a personal trainer for your brain. Talking with people back-and-forth is a mental workout. You have to read cues, like intonations and pauses, and think of an appropriate response, while simultaneously monitoring your companion's response to fire up neural cells.

Compiled by 1Klassifieds Team

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