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Tips To Keep Your Memory Sharp

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Who hasn’t forgotten someone’s name, misplaced their keys, or walked into a room and forgotten why you were there? But studies show, there are ways to better remember things.

And there are definitely a lot of things to remember these days.

“There’s appointments, stuff for school. One day I forgot the lunch. Because there’s 87 things going on,” said busy mother Holly Ramsburg. “I wish I were a list person, cause I think that would help, but it’s very easy to forget things.”

Experts say to remember passwords, connect them with someone or something you feel emotional about.

“Emotion is right next to the region that processes memory,” said Dr. Duke Han, of the Rush University Medical Center. “If one is active, the other one is thought to be also active as well.”

Another tip is to stay active. It increases blood flow to the brain. Try lifting weights with your eyes closed. That forces the brain to work harder and make new connections.

Also, chew gum. Studies show it improves performance on memory tests. And, another dental tip: don’t forget to floss. British researchers found that gingivitis and periodontal disease were associated with worse memory.

Get your sleep. Experts say deep sleep, where you dream, is crucial to your brain’s ability to learn and remember.

And if you smoke, stop. A recent study found former smokers scored 15 percent higher on memory tests than current smokers.

You can inhale fresh flowers to ease memory-zapping stress. But also, be careful you don’t unwind too much. Doctors say a little stress is good to help you remember things.

“When someone’s in that low-stress place where they’re not really able to take in the information because they’re so relaxed, that doesn’t seem to help as well,” said Han.

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