I want to discuss memory loss with you. For baby boomers, the fear of memory loss is really the fear of dementia. I’m not referring to the inability to recall names, places, or even what you ate for lunch. Wait, where was I?
Seriously, isn’t every boomer thinking that dementia is right around the corner when they can’t remember something they were told an hour ago? You can argue with me if you like, but I’m going to affirm that half the time my problem is with listening skills, not memory, but that’s a whole other story.
The good news is that exercise not only improves memory – it also decreases memory loss. Studies have shown that walking for as little as 2.5 hours per week can significantly improve memory.
Exercise increases the levels of brain chemicals, and that in turn encourages the growth of nerve cells. The more aerobic the exercise, the more successfully your brain ages. Soooo, time to get moving.
While on the subject of memory, I wanted to know why we can remember things in the most distant past but not how we spent the afternoon yesterday. The science indicates that once a memory is created it has to be stored somewhere. Sensory, short-term or long-term. I’m going to guess that short-term can only hold so much, while long-term is there for the long haul.
And I just remembered why we can’t remember when we were babies. Most of us, that is. I’d be willing to bet there are a few boomers out there who can remember getting a spoonfuls of Gerber Apricot Mixed Fruit, but they would have to be considered extremely rare. The rest of us at that age had brains that were not developed enough to bundle information into the complex neural patterns known as memories.
Maybe you will remember this the next time you and your friends and family are discussing memory loss. Or maybe not.
Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. His mystery novel, Head Above Water, is available on Amazon and Kindle. You can also visit his author page here.