Boomers love lists too. They help us grab information on the run. Sometimes we save the list, knowing it hits the mark for us. And sometimes we know it only grazes the topic and we need to dig deeper to broaden our knowledge.
Here are some lists dealing with two important health issues.
Ways to Improve Your Memory RIGHT NOW!
- Create a mental picture to help you remember a person’s name. Ed Cooke, who studies memory, says we forget names and dates because they’re boring and don’t affect our imagination. But we never forget a vivid experience.
- Say what you need to remember out loud. Especially people’s names. Worried about remembering names at a party? Psychologist Deborah Burke says to say the names out loud before you get there. It strengthens the neural connection.
- Change the font style. Having trouble learning and saving new information on your computer screen? It may sound counter-intuitive, but a recent study says adults learning complicated info in an unfamiliar font retained info better. Why? The difficult font forced the brain to concentrate more on the information.
- Use it or lose it. We know it’s true for the body, and it is also true for the brain. Increase your use of language by playing Scrabble, taking a course or learning a new language. Older adults who are bilingual and switch back and forth strengthen brain connections.
- Meet people and talk. Social connections are important, but research shows that sitting and talking and using language is better for your brain than playing a repetitive game or watching a film. Using language is key.
- Take a walk and get a good night’s sleep. Exercise helps the brain make new neuronal connections says Gary Kennedy, a geriatric psychiatrist. New studies show that regular exercise might actually slow memory deterioration. And a Stanford University study suggests that uninterrupted sleep is crucial for memory consolidation.
Ways to Keep from Losing Your Hearing
- Trust your ears. If you feel the sound is too loud, it probably is: noisy subway, lawnmower, stereo, hairdryer, rock concert, tools in the workplace—wear protective earplugs to shield your ears. Cotton balls are useless says Amy Boyle, director of public education for the League for the Hard of Hearing. She suggests the temporary measure of plugging your ears when you are walking near a construction site.
- Special workplace earmuffs with a solid shell and acoustic seal can reduce up to 30 decibels of noise. Good when you’re using power tools. Earplugs can reduce sound by 33 decibels and are good when needed for long periods of time like a rock concert or while you sleep. Disposable foam earplugs are inexpensive and available at drugstores.
- Being plugged into your phone or your iPod can be a problem. Long periods of time when sound is piped directly into your ears may do more damage than the old-fashioned headphones. Set your volume in a quiet space and do not increase it even if background noise increases.
- The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends you limit your iPod ear exposure to one hour a day with a volume level no higher than 60 percent of full capacity.
- You can purchase various headphones with noise-cancelling or sound-isolating features that work with any device. They reduce background noise by up to 30 decibels allowing you to keep your volume at a lower, safer level.
- If you turn off your ear buds or headphones and hear ringing or have a dull, muffled feeling in your ears, it’s too loud says Lynn Luethke, the hearing-program director at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).
- A research study showed that adding 800 mcg of folic acid per day to your diet can fight hearing loss. Breakfast cereal, orange juice, raw spinach and enriched pasta are rich in folic acid.
Do you have any tips to share on either issue?