Keeping a sharp memory is key as we age. A new study suggests that a busy life, filled with many varied activities, might be key to your brain health.
Memory is key to most things in life. It helps us learn in school, function in our jobs, maintain our relationships, and so much m ore. It has an influence on almost everything we enjoy. Memory is also one of the first things to deteriorate as we age, increasing the odds of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Now, a new study reveals that the most efficient way of protecting our memory is to train ourselves with a variety of cognitive challenges.
The study, published in Aging US and conducted at Simon Fraser University, suggests that variety in our hobbies and activities is key, and that most of us would benefit from keeping things a bit unpredictable. These hobbies and habits were shown to improve people’s memory, making it more efficient as the years passed, lowering the risks of developing dementia.
Over 3,000 people between the ages of 65 and 89 were surveyed, with researchers asking them how often they engaged in a variety of activities ranging from cooking, writing, learning, and walking. They discovered that the more distinct and varied their hobbies were, the better their memory was as well.
Researchers also discovered something surprising: a diverse schedule was much more productive for the longevity of people’s memory when compared to people who maintained the same schedule day after day. The older the subject and more varied their lifestyle, the better the results.
One of the most interesting findings made by the study is the fact that our habits and schedules could have a more significant impact than our genes and propensity for these types of debilitating diseases that affect memory. Working on our brain and keeping our life varied can fight against these genetic weaknesses.
Dementia is a very common ailment, affecting more and more seniors with the passing of time. While genetic predispositions exist, the study proves the importance of people’s activities and patterns, and how helpful they can be in preserving their memory and thus, their quality of life.