You’re upstairs and realize that you need that measuring tape you stuffed into an already over-crowded drawer in the kitchen.
You get up from your desk and start the trek downstairs.
As you turn the corner at the bottom of the stairs, some fifteen seconds later, you stop and wonder, “Now, what was I coming down here for?”
Anything similar happen to you?
As you age, you’ll probably hear that the erosion of certain abilities is just “part of getting older”. Your memory is of one of those things (unless of course you don’t remember ever hearing this before).
One way to hold on to your memory skills is to use specific memory games. And science has shown that memory games do improve your ability to recall even the simplest of things like getting the tape measure.
But, in a life that’s already jammed with a lot of things to do, one more thing to work into your life can seem daunting.
What if, since you probably already exercise in some way, you could add a specific exercise to your routine that would help not only your physical ability but your memory as well?
The pathways in your brain relating to memory are influenced by a variety of exercises but one of the most important is balance training.
The region of your brain responsible for coordinating movement is the cerebellum (which means “little brain”). This part of the brain sits just above the brainstem and goes about its job quietly without you ever knowing it.
The brain, like much of the body, maintains its vitality from use. Since one of the main functions of the cerebellum is to help control balance, the less you challenge your balance, the weaker these connections become in your brain. As these connections fade, so does your balance.
Below is an exercise sequence adapted from yoga poses that will help you improve your balance (and even your leg and trunk strength).The password is fusiontribe.
Hold each position for 5 slow, deep breaths and move smoothly from one position to the next. Do five rounds on each leg and shoot for at least three days per week. If you can’t hold the position or make the transitions, stand next to the back of a chair and place your hand on the chair to help you balance. As you get better, and you will, you can hold the chair less often and eventually not at all.
The video above is one example of exercise to improve balance. You can use Tai Chi, Yoga, or even something as simple as standing on one leg while you brush your teeth to help improve balance.
Balance training is simple to add to your exercise routine, can be also be done almost anywhere, anytime, and has a very low risk of injury. In fact, one of the reasons to stop using resistance training machines – the kind you find in gyms – is that the machines don’t require you to use much of any balance. The more frequently you challenge your balance, the faster you’ll improve.
And, guess what? Your memory will improve too.