5 Memory-Enhancing Habits to Practice

Friday, 12 Jul 2013 08:55 AM

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Movies like "50 First Dates" and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" make memory lapses in their 20- to 30-year-old characters seem slightly glamorous. But if it happens to you, it most definitely is not.

A surprising number of people in the 18-39 set (14 percent in one study) report they have memory problems. But 30 percent of people in this age group are obese, do not manage stress well, have elevated lousy LDL cholesterol and markers for bodywide inflammation.

So it isn't surprising that young memories are being damaged.Studies show that you can SLASH your risk for memory problems by adopting four simple, healthy behaviors. If you pick up just one and make it a habit, your risk for memory problems drops 21 percent; two cuts it by 45 percent; pick up three and you're 75 percent less likely to be forgetful. Adopt four healthy habits? Jackpot! Your memory will be unforgettably good.

Here's our set of beneficial behaviors; write 'em down:

1. Not smoking!

2. Exercising at least 30 minutes five or more days a week (walking counts) and mix in strength training two to three days a week for a metabolic boost.

3. Being able to say (every day), "I dodged junk food today!" That means you ate none of the Five Food Felons (trans fats, added sugars and sugar syrups, red meats and grain that isn't 100 percent whole).

4. Eating at least five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

Bonus: Meditating daily is a super-effective way to prevent memory problems.

© King Features Syndicate

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