Brain-boosting tips to help your memory
“Right now,” said Steven Wright, “I’m having amnesia and deja vu at the same time. I think I’ve forgotten this before.” Although it’s true that youngsters do forget names, math facts and when Dad said to be home, many folks 50 and older notice that their recall isn’t what it used to be. When you have such a senior moment, it’s just a stutter in what’s called episodic memory, and rarely is it long-lasting. But if you’re concerned about your recall, talk to your doc about stress, sleep problems, depression, thyroid disease, diabetes, vitamin B-12 deficiency, excess alcohol use, infections and your medications. They’re all possible memory-busters. And try our unforgettable, brain-boosting tips! 1. Walk fast for at least 30 minutes daily, heading for 10,000 steps a day. Any exercise, but especially aerobics that make you sweat, is the very best memory enhancer. 2. Cut body-wide inflammation with omega-3 DHA from salmon or ocean trout; and take 900 milligrams of DHA from algal oil daily. Add in more omega-3s: walnuts, canola and extra-virgin olive oil.3. Try the spice turmeric to reduce triglyceride levels, increase fat burning and keep blood sugar steady. 4. Take two baby aspirins daily (if your doc approves) with a half-glass of water before and after. 5. Get romantic. The neurotransmitter dopamine helps control information flow and memory. Levels decrease with age, but zoom up with sexual activity.
If you live in a noise-filled environment, high decibel levels can increase stress and blood pressure, and compromise sleep and heart health. And for people who are sound-sensitive — those losing their hearing (ironically) or those who are hyperreactive — environmental noise pollution also causes anxiety, anger, even violence and social withdrawal.
The U.S. Census Bureau surveys reveal that noise is people’s No. 1 complaint about their neighborhood and the major reason they want to move. We hope city governments come to realize keeping sirens, jackhammers and traffic noise around 70 to 85 decibels is a quality-of-life issue. But until they do, we’ve got surprising ways you can protect your ears, health and sanity.
Use sound-blocking headsets and foam earplugs with a noise-reduction rating (NRR) of 33. They block out about 15 decibels. That means the jackhammer across the street emitting 100 decibels will tone down to a bearable 85.
Try taking lipoic acid, and ask your doc if you can take two baby aspirin (drink a half-glass of warm water before and after) and vitamin E with mixed tocopherols. They reduce inflammation, protect auditory and other nerves, and reduce damage from stress hormones.
Fit in some active de-stressing. To deal with noise-induced stress, meditate in the morning for five to 10 minutes, and during the day make time for both aerobics (we like walking 10,000 steps daily) and strength training.
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer and chair of the Wellness Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com.
On the Camino de Santiago, Day 19: A peregrina spends the whole day under the weather, and part of the day under the table