Flex your memory muscle and store more in your cortex with these tips from the experts:
Memorize often. Challenging yourself is good for your brain. Start by memorizing three names per day for an entire week. “By the end of the week, you’ll know 21 names,” says Dr. Majid Fotuhi, a neurologist and leading authority on the brain as related to memory issues. “That’s like doing 10 pushups one day, 20 pushups the next day, then 30. You’re stretching your memory muscles and making them stronger.”
Eat right. You may believe that fat and cholesterol are bad for you, but they’re essential for brain health. “Your brain is 60 to 70 percent fat, and 25 percent of the cholesterol in your body is in the brain,” says Dr. David Perlmutter, a neurologist in Naples, Florida. He recommends a diet low in carbohydrates and rich in healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which is found in fish.
Exercise regularly. Your brain thrives on regular aerobic exercise. “Those who exercise actually grow back brain structure—new brain cells in the hippocampus,” Perlmutter says. He recommends 20 minutes of aerobic exercise five or six times a week.