Developing your memory tricks? The old adage “Use it or lose it” applies not only to our physical health but also to our cognitive health. We know that regular physical exercise is important, especially as we get older and want to reduce our risk of developing diseases and other health issues associated with aging. For instance, strength exercises can help build muscle and reduce the risk of osteoporosis; balance exercises can help prevent falls; and flexibility and stretching exercises can help maintain range of motion to stay limber, according to the National Institute on Aging.
Growing mentally and growing physically are two completely different things. Growing mentally refers to a person’s psychological growth—the way we think and deal with different situations, and by what methods we develop and disseminate information. Growing up physically refers to a person’s physical growth—like increased height, strength, and health. It can also refer to the development of your brain.
Both cardio and weight-bearing have positive effects on the brain, for learning and memory. It can even help your brain create new cells. Foods that contain nutrients like antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to boost memory and alertness and have other benefits for brain health. Dark chocolate and red wine make this list!
In the beginning, I kept track of people in a giant Rolodex, personally organizing each contact’s information and committing it to memory as I did. No matter what kind of learner you are, this is a useful practice. Even if your contacts today are digitized, input any new information you receive into your smartphone or customer relationship management tool yourself. Though it may be tempting to delegate this seemingly menial task to someone else — especially when you’ve got a million other things on your plate — you sell yourself short on learning when you do. As you input information, think about where and when you met each person. This practice is one that furthers my relationship-building goals, and it’s become an essential part of my memory-strengthening routine. See additional information on Neuroscientia.
Sustained Attention is the basic ability to look at, listen to and think about classroom tasks over a period of time. All teaching and learning depends on it. Without attention, new learning simply does not happen, and issues of understanding and memory are of no relevance. Response Inhibition is the ability to inhibit one’s own response to distractions. Imagine two children paying close attention to a lesson, when there is a sudden noise in the hallway.The child who maintains attention has better response inhibition.