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Weight lifting coupled with aerobic exercise can help boost your brain's memory support.

Weight lifting coupled with aerobic exercise can help boost your brain's memory support.

Memory loss and declining brain health are symptoms commonly associated with aging, but the reality is that our memory support begins to dwindle as soon as our early 20s! Don't despair, though—there are plenty of ways you can bolster your capacity for recalling memories, regardless of your age. Here are a few suggestions from the healthy living community at Care2:

  • Curiosity: While fatal to certain metaphorical cats, curiosity actually helps stimulate the brain. Being curious leaves your mind open to accepting and processing new information, and the more you work out your mental muscle, the stronger your cognitive processes—including memory—will be well into old age. Something as simple as regular crossword puzzles can help keep the mind sharp and in better shape to retain information.
  • Drink chocolate: In one study, two groups of healthy men and women spanning their 50s and 60s were tasked with drinking either 10 milligrams or 900 milligrams of flavanols—the plant compounds derived from cocoa—over a three-month period. By the end of the study, the group that ingested the 900 milligrams of flavanols exhibited a stronger memory capacity than those who drank fewer flavanols. While Care2 cautions that that this study doesn't mean that consuming processed chocolate will necessarily strengthen your brain—and the fact that the study was sponsored by the candy producer Mars Inc. means that it's not totally unbiased—it does lay the groundwork for further research into the brain-boosting capabilities of flavanols.
  • Exercise: Regular aerobic exercise coupled with just 20 minutes of weight-lifting can help boost the brain's ability to store and recall memories.
  • Practice your vocabulary: While vocabulary quizzes were probably some of the more tedious things you had to do in school, studies have shown that a strong vocabulary helps promote cognitive development and keeps the brain functional even in the wake of conditions like dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

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