6 Ways to Improve Your Memory and Stop the Age Clock in Its Tracks
If you’re looking to slow down the aging process and keep your mind and body as fit as it was when you were younger, try out some of our genius tips and tricks. They rewind time to improve your memory, sharpen your eyesight and trim your waist.
Unlock Your Inner Picasso
Spending time creating art by painting, drawing or sculpting reduces your risk of developing memory problems (or mild cognitive impairment) by 79 percent, according to a study in the journal Neurology. Not into art? Getting crafty with quilting or scrapbooking cuts your risk by 48 percent. Researchers say regularly stimulating brain cells through creative tasks helps them stay in tip-top shape.
Boost Bone Strength with Wine
One more reason to savor vino with dinner: You’ll protect your bones with every sip. Oregon State University scientists say enjoying 6 oz. of red or white wine daily slows bone thinning within 24 hours and reduces your risk of osteoporosis by as much as 45 percent. Credit goes to wine’s phenolic compounds—antioxidants that work like bone- and cartilage-strengthening estrogen when they are absorbed into tissues.
AND LOG MORE ZZZS! Try setting a “bedtime alarm” to remind you to wrap up whatever you’re doing and head to bed. University at Buffalo scientists say women who regularly clock at least seven hours of sleep a night have denser bones than those who are sleep deprived, since vital bone repair and regrowth occurs while you’re snoozing.
Sharpen Your Mind by Playing Games Online
Over time, the brain shrinks in size, which hampers its ability to switch between tasks. Luckily, there’s a fun fix: playing digital games! University of California, Irvine, researchers say playing brain games on your laptop, tablet or smartphone that require shifting your focus helps your brain act as quickly and efficiently as someone up to 50 years younger. Mentally stimulating games challenge your mind to keep it sharp. Try Lumosity’s Ebb and Flow or Brainturk’s Task Switching.
OR DECORATE A CAKE! Sign up for cake-decorating class or try your hand at yoga. Learning any new skill improves your recall even more effectively than socializing, according to a study in Psychological Science.
Safeguard Sight by Cutting a Rug
Cue up your favorite song and move to the beat. Doing so can shield against vision trouble. A study in Ophthalmology found that women who exercise three times a week — whether dancing, jogging or taking a class at the gym— are 58 percent less likely to develop vision loss than those who lead more sedentary lifestyles. Investigators explain that moving around reduces oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which are known to negatively impact cells in the part of your eye that sees details.
AND TRY THE THUMB TRICK! Spending hours staring at a computer can lead to vision-hampering eyestrain. To combat this, British researchers suggest holding your thumb 6” from your eyes and focusing on it while you take a deep breath. Then shift your focus to an object 10 feet away and take another breath. Continue altering focal points for one minute every hour, and scientists say your sight will be significantly less blurry.
Fade Wrinkles with ‘Face Yoga’
Northwestern University scientists say doing facial yoga, which tones muscles in your face, for 30 minutes every other day makes your cheeks looks fuller and your face appear three years younger. One move: Smile with your lips closed and place your fingers on the corners of your mouth, pushing up to lift your cheeks. Hold for 20 seconds.
AND APPLY ARGAN OIL! It delivers vitamin E and polyphenols, two antioxidants that stimulate production of sag-erasing elastic fibers in the skin, reveals a study in Clinical Interventions in Aging.
Trim Your Waist with a Tangy Sip
Kefir, the tangy fermented milk drink similar to thin yogurt, has 10 different strands of healthy bacteria that help the body break down food and use it for fuel instead of store it as fat. In fact, Harvard scientists found that dieters who drank three servings of kefir a day lost 81 percent more belly fat than those who cut calories.
OR ACT LIKE A KID AGAIN! Twirling a weighted Hula-Hoop for as little as two minutes a day can help you melt 1.3” from your waist in six weeks, according to a study in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.