How to Keep Your Memory Sharp in the Digital Age

Learn new skills, exercise, get enough sleep and more to keep your memory sharp.

Memorizing phone numbers and the like has become less important for many people because cellphones and other forms of technology store that information instead. However, it is important for you to maintain your memory, especially as you get older. Here are some ways to keep your memory sharp.

1. Learn a new skill. It doesn?t matter what the skill is?say, photography or playing an instrument?as long as you invest the time and effort in learning. Picking up new things enhances short-term memory, long-term memory, other brain functions, plus is just plain fun and social.

2. Travel. Your travels can be abroad if your budget allows, but a trip to another city in your state works well, too. Go solo or in a group, but immerse yourself in new experiences.

3. Get physical activity. Exercise stimulates your brain and in fact, helps blood flow to your entire body. Aim for a minimum of a 30-minute brisk walk a day. You can do the walking in 10-minute segments if you need to.

4. Get enough quality sleep. If you do not sleep well, your brain less able to absorb new information, much less remember it. Aim for at least seven hours of sleep nightly.

5. Ensure you get enough vitamins, particularly vitamins C and E, and beta carotene. These antioxidants enhance memory and cut down on cell damage. Your primary source should be foods such as oranges and blueberries, but supplements can help if necessary.

6. Challenge yourself in little ways every day. No need for grand gestures although volunteering is a great way to socialize and learn something new. Drive different routes, do Sudoku and crossword puzzles, and read books in genres you avoid.