Improve Your Memory: 3 Habits to Boost Recall

You want to improve your memory? The beautiful thing about embracing these life habits is that every other aspect of your life will begin to improve too.

Improve Your Memory

Improve your memory. You want to remember those names and faces from the gym, because you don’t want to spend the rest of your life calling them, “hey you.”

Or maybe your job entails having to juggle two or three pieces of information at the same time and you don’t want to forget that crucial phone number that got called out to you but you didn’t have a pen handy to write it down.

It only takes a couple of changes to your current lifestyle to boost your memory potential and turn your struggles into a rock star performance.

The beautiful thing about embracing these life habits is that every other aspect of your life will begin to improve too.

Here’s how.

Sleep is Crucial: Healthy Habit no 1

The latest medical advice states that you need between seven and nine hours sleep in every twenty four hours in order to maintain a healthy fully optimized brain.

But do you get it?

The link between getting a good nights sleep and your ability to focus, process information and then remember that information is clear.

REM sleep or rapid eye movement is the dream state you enter when processing the events of the day. It’s here that you put your short term memories into long term storage. If you don’t get enough REM sleep, you won’t remember what you learned the day before.

Deep sleep is where your brain flushes out the bad proteins that gather during the course of the day. Neurologist’s now believe that this flushing process or rather the lack of it, potentially contributes to Alzheimer’s disease.

A refreshing sleep will improve your cognitive ability, increase your learning ability and make for deeper, stronger connections in your brain, allowing for easier recall. It’s critical that you get a regular good nights sleep.

Eat Healthy: Healthy Habit no 2

The Lancet Global Burden of Disease Study, published in 2017, found that 1 in 5 deaths (11 million in total) were associated with poor diet.

This study looked at the dietary intake of 195 countries and their findings were shocking.

The main risk factor wasn’t eating unhealthy foods as you would have assumed but rather, not eating enough nutrients and healthy foods.

The report found that low consumption of the foods listed below led to a reduction in the quality of life, higher risk of disease and a lowering of lifespan:

vegetables legumes

fruit

wholegrains nuts and seeds milk

fibre

calcium long chain omega 3s from seafood polyunsaturated fats

Not eating enough of the healthy foods listed above will lead to poor health and increased risk of disease and shortened lifespan.

While the consumption of red meat, processed meat, sugar-sweetened drinks, trans fats and sodium, all contributed to poor health and shortened lifespan, it was the lack of healthy food and nutrients that made the greatest impact.

The message from the study is clear. Eat healthy and reduce your risk of disease.

What’s also clear is that eating healthy is critical for keeping your mind sharp. Eating the right brain foods will keep you operating at your peak.

If you’re interested in learning more about brain foods then check out Optimum Nutrition for the Mind.

Exercise: Healthy Habit no 3

We all know that to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you need to exercise regularly. The benefits of regular cardio exercise include: lower risk of heart disease, longer life span, improve immune system, to name but a few. (more on this below.)

And yet, the majority of us don’t do enough exercise. Life is just too busy. For instance, the kids need to be taken to team events. Your boss has given you a big assignment, or you’re working two jobs to pay the bills. You’re just too tired after a day cleaning the house and chasing after the kids.

There are a lot of reasons why exercise might be low on your list of priorities.

Here’s five reasons why you need to put it at the top of your list.

1. Cardio exercise reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease. Doing cardio can help prevent that heart attack or stroke from ever happening. It can also lower your blood pressure, reduce your risk of diabetes and osteoporosis.

2. Cardio can improve your memory and sharpen your mental acuity. In short, exercising can help you think faster.

3. Doing a combination of cardio and resistance training will help you to lose body fat, tone up and sleep better at night.

4. Exercising boosts your energy levels throughout the day, making it easier for you to get things done.

5. It reduces stress by lowering your cortisol levels and producing endorphins.

And if that’s not enough for you. Here’s another good reason to get sweating. Exercise, especially when done socially, can be relaxing and fun.

Conclusion

It may seem elementary, but sleeping, eating and exercising for optimal health is not something you do as a matter of course. It takes effort, and an iron will.

But the benefits of building these three habits include:

1. A stronger, healthier bond between body and mind

2. Potentially longer lifespan

3. Reduced risk of getting heart disease, Cancer or Alzheimer’s

4. Improved learning ability and memory retention

5. A more active and happier lifestyle

In conclusion, living a longer and healthier life is a worthy goal, and if you work hard to improve your memory, you gain the added benefit of ensuring that you maintain strong mental health, which this means that you can be active and productive long after you retire.

And isn’t that worth the effort?

Resources

What is Healthy Sleep? – National Sleep Foundation

Sleep is vital to your physical and mental health. But, how can you tell whether you’re truly sleeping well? Especially if you work shifts, your sleep probably does not look exactly like other peoples’ sleep. It can be hard to measure…

British Nutrition Foundation

Poor diets associated with 11 million deaths worldwide according to the Lancet Global Burden of Disease Study.

Harvard.edu

Getting regular physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your health. It lowers the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and certain cancers, and it can also help control stress, improve sleep.

Powerful Teaching: Unleash the Science of Learning.

Powerful Teaching

Powerful Teaching is a book that is disarmingly simple in layout and delivery, managing to condense a complex and deep topic into a practical manual and do it in language that is straight forward and unambiguous.

At a compact 327 pages long, not counting acknowledgements or index, the book is divided into 12 chapters.

The authors have managed to take the four main teaching tools, Retrieval Practice, Spacing, Interleaving and Feedback-Driven-Metacognition and break them down into digestible chunks, providing ample examples and explanations from their own personal teaching experience as well as a wide variety of additional sources.  

While none of the topics are new, or difficult to understand, implementing each technique in a classroom environment can be problematic. But each technique is laid out for you in a simple, solid manner and each chapter builds on the previous one, expanding and developing ideas further. As a result, you’ll find yourself learning how to use the techniques almost without effort.

Chapter List

  1. Discover the power behind power tools.
  2. Build a foundation with Retrieval Practice.
  3. Empower teaching with Retrieval Practice Strategies.
  4. Energize learning with Spacing and Interleaving.
  5. Engage students with Feedback-Driven-Metacognition.
  6. Combine power tools and harness your toolbox.
  7. Keeping it real: Use power tools to tackle challenges. Not add to them.
  8. Foster a supportive environment: Use power tools to reduce anxiety and strengthen community.
  9. Spark conversations with students about the science of learning.
  10. Spark conversations with parents about the science of learning.
  11. Powerful professional development for teachers and leaders.
  12. Do it yourself retrieval guide.
  13. Conclusion: Unleash the science of learning.

In each chapter the authors back up each of their teaching strategies with current scientific research. Each chapter has a list of references, resources and recommended reading that will allow you to delve further into this interesting and complex topic.

Conclusion:

Powerful Teaching is a book that condenses and explains current best practice and how you as a parent or teacher can implement it with your children/students.

The authors have done a fantastic job of presenting these ideas in a format that makes them accessible and digestible.

In conclusion, Powerful Teaching is a book for your shelf.

Regardless of whether you are a teacher or parent, this book will be an invaluable resource.

About the Authors.

POOJA K. AGARWAL, PHD, is a cognitive scientist, conducting research on how students learn since 2005. She is an Assistant Professor at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, teaching psychological science to exceptional undergraduate musicians. Her research has been published in leading journals; highlighted by The New York Times and Education Week; and recognized by the National Science Foundation. Her love of learning formed at the outset of her career as a 4th and 5th grade teacher in St. Louis. Missouri.

PATRICE M. BAIN, EdS, is a veteran K-12 educator, author, and speaker. As a finalist for Illinois Teacher of the Year and a Fulbright Scholar in Europe, she has been featured in popular press, including NOVA and Scientific American. Patrice co-authored an essential practice guide for educators, Organizing Instruction and Study to Improve Student Learning, in collaboration with the Institute of Education Sciences.

Resources

powerfulteaching.org