I Tried Doctor Recommended Tips To Improve My Memory and Here’s What Happened
I have this nickname, “elephant memory.” As a teenager, I could recall minute details of the events that took place when I was 18 months old. I have a photographic memory, school tests were a walk in the park for me, I rarely studied and I spent most of my time playing video games and watching Australian daytime television as a teen. Something shifted though when I went to University. The first year was fine however, the second year was a living nightmare. I struggled to remember anything, my memory failed me.
Frantic, I asked my lecturer what I could do to fix my memory, he gave me a few articles to read. I devoured them in a few minutes and decided to implement some of the strategies that the doctors had outlined in the articles. I was desperate at this point, I thought I was losing my mind. Like I had some kind of brain disease, I did every test under the sun and all the results came back clear.
Anyway, I put some of these theories to the test and this is what happened:
All in all, there were ten tips that the experts in the articles recommended for memory enhancement. I chose three out of the ten to include in my daily routine. I embarked on a 30-day challenge to improve my memory.
- Brain Training Games
- Healthy Diet
Moving my body
Moving my body more was the first step, the plan was to go for a 40-minute walk every morning and run up and down the stairs throughout the day.
Brain Training Games
I purchased various puzzle and quiz books that included crossword puzzles, riddles, and Sudoku. 30 minutes of brain training each day is recommended.
As a college student, my diet consisted of basic pasta dishes, white rice, and curry sauce, nothing to write home about. The plan was to include more vegetables into my diet and have a smoothie every morning for breakfast. Also, plenty of water, three liters per day.
Why does exercise help to improve your memory?
Dr. Verna R. Porter, M.D a neurologist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center states that exercise stimulates the brain cells and encourages them to multiply. Exercise reduces or prevents cognitive deterioration, which could lead to Alzheimer’s or dementia. Exercise at least three times per week for a healthy and efficient brain.
Did exercising more help to improve my memory? The answer is, yes! Well, at least I think it did something. After 30 days of continuous exercise, I noticed a major difference.
Prior to starting the challenge, I could read a paragraph and forget the basic concept of the paragraph. At the end of the challenge, I was speeding through textbooks and remembering everything with ease. I don’t know if it was a placebo effect, or if the exercise combined with brain training and healthy eating played a part.
Brain training games are like mental exercise, the more you do them, the stronger your brain becomes. I would spend 30 to 40 minutes a day doing brain training exercises, and I certainly noticed a major difference after two to three weeks.
I piled on the vegetables and chugged down the green smoothies in the morning. I felt more energetic, I also experienced this profound clarity of mind. One study conducted by researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago found that eating one serving of green leafy vegetables a day may significantly reduce memory loss and better preserve cognitive function.
The study revealed that participants that consumed about 1.5 servings of leafy greens a day showed the cognitive abilities of people 11 years younger.
When I started the challenge, I found it difficult to memorize a list of 30 words, I would get to 18 or 19 and I would just give up. By the end of the challenge, I was memorizing 40 or 50 words with ease. I am not one hundred percent certain if the dark leafy green vegetables, the exercise and the brain trained played a major role in the significant improvement of my memory but I can say that I felt more energetic, my concentration levels and productivity drastically improved and all in all, I felt happier, more optimistic and less sluggish on most days.
Whether you are studying, hustling online or working long hours at a job, take care of yourself. One of the things that often gets neglected when you are working hard to achieve a goal is self-care. When I was studying at university, I would wake up at 3 am, study, go to lectures, come home and study some more. My diet was terrible, my workout regime consisted of walking five minutes down the road to the lecture hall, and five minutes back.
I believe that my memory loss issues stemmed from self-neglect. Focusing so much on achieving top grades that I forgot about the most important thing, my health. Everything changed when I made a conscious effort to nurture and nourish my body.
Leafy greens, water, exercise, and a little brain training here and there for the win!