Misplace your car keys – again? Can’t remember the name of the person you met just last weekend?
You’re not alone. We’re all absorbing millions of bits of information every day, so it’s no surprise some things take a little longer to recall than others. But did you know that two common activities – exercise and rest – can help support healthy memory?
As if you needed an excuse to nod off for a few minutes – recent scientific research has found valuable merit in the art of “wakeful resting.” In the study, participants were told a story. One group was then asked to close their eyes and relax for 10 minutes, while the other remained busy with another task. The group who indulged in relaxation was able to recall more information about the story immediately afterwards, as well as seven days later.
TIP: Take at least two short breaks throughout the day – find a dark, quiet room, close your eyes and remove all distractions (yes, even your cell phone).
Get up and get moving.
It’s basically the total opposite of resting – but regular exercise is just as helpful to short and long-term memory as closing your eyes and zoning out. Research shows that even a low-impact activity such as brisk walking can boost circulation to the brain, which may positively impact memory.
TIP: Make an after-dinner walk part of your daily routine.