As we get older, memory loss might seem like one more inevitable consequence of aging, along with creaky joints and a lack of interest in late-night parties. But in fact, there are many things we can do to keep our memories sharp — and it doesn’t even require adopting a brand new diet or exercise routine. New research reveals that doing a variety of simple activities each day works wonders for reducing memory loss.
A recent study published in the journal Aging looked at the effects of 33 different daily activities on participants’ memories. A total of 3,210 participants between the ages of 65 and 89 years old took part in the study, during which they engaged in simple activities like reading, using a computer, spending time with grandchildren, and walking for 20 minutes. Researchers monitored subjects for seven years, between 2008 and 2014, during which they recorded any changes in the participants’ memories, along with their activities.
An Interesting Finding
Interestingly, the study’s authors found that rather than any one particular activity making a marked difference in cognitive health, the key to preventing memory loss was doing several activities throughout the day. In other words, when participants engaged in a few of the given tasks, it appeared to help reduce memory decline more than if they focused on just one activity.
Perhaps even more interesting is that as the study’s subjects got older, the positive benefits increased. Researchers concluded that changes in memory and brain health are heavily influenced by a person’s everyday habits, rather than simply being impacted by the aging process.
What kinds of activities can help prevent memory loss?
So, what sorts of activities should we be making an effort to pack into our days? Here’s a list of the activities researchers found to be beneficial:
- Volunteer with youth
- Attend a sports or social club
- Play word games (Woman’s World has just launched a free puzzles and games section!)
- Play cards and board games
- Bake or cook
- Sew or knit
- Spend time with children, friends, and family members
- Talk on the phone with children, friends, and family members
- Write or email children, friends, and family members
As we get older, making several of these activities a priority in our day-to-day routines can go a long way toward keeping our memories in tip-top shape. And since they’re things anyone can enjoy, it shouldn’t be hard to include them — no drastic diets, strenuous exercise, or late-night parties required!