I've heard the complaint numerous times from clients that they don't have the time to do brain fitness. Yet, I would argue that brain fitness is more important than physical fitness. But don't get me wrong-- physical fitness is extremely important- both for your physical and cognitive well-being. However, the message the clients are expressing to me is their perception that brain training, especially trying to improve one's memory, involves the same investment of time, effort, and money that is often associated with a physical fitness program.

So, for those of you who have busy schedules, here are 10 fast and simple steps you can do on a regular basis to improve your memory. These are all evidence based and you are welcome to email me (cps@cpsneurocare.com) for the research data that supports these strategies.

1. What's good for the heart is good for the brain. You see, physical fitness does help. So remember that any cardiovascular activity helps increase blood and oxygen flow to the brain and is proven to stop and often reverse cerebral atrophy (brain shrinkage).
2. Read. Read anything but after doing so, repeat back to yourself or discuss with someone what you have read. If you want a challenge, read something that is new to you. Just 15 minutes a day of this type of reading can make a big difference.
3. Manage your mental health. Depression, anxiety, or just too much stress interferes with your brain's ability to encode and recall memory.
4. Sleep and take naps. Our brain creates and regenerates new cells while we sleep. In fact there are numerous processes our brain does to help us function more effectively while we are awake provided we get enough sleep. I've seen too may patients for suspected dementia when the real culprit was sleep deprivation. Eight hours of sleep multiplies our mind power.
5. Blueberries for breakfast: Research shows that a large helping of blueberries for breakfast improves concentration up to 5 hours later. In fact, it makes a great addition to your lunch.
6. Play games. Don't dismiss those crossword puzzles, Sudoku, cards, or any game that will force you to utilize concentration and memory.
7. Transform relationships. People in positive relationships have been shown to have better memory than those who are single or in negative relationships. When you make a relationship healthier you not only impact the lives of numerous others but you have helped your brain as well.
8. Limit television. There is evidence that watching television has a negative impact on attention and memory. See television as a dessert for your mind, not a meal. Watch shows that will help you learn something new. Personally, I enjoy the challenges of Jeopardy.
9. Learn a new word a day. Incorporate it into your regular vocabulary, or try to improve your spelling. This simple exercise has significant impact on overall memory.
10. Plan your future. Write down your goals you can accomplish on a daily, weekly, and annual basis. Accomplishments have been shown to improve motivation and self-esteem, two powerful ingredients for improved mind power.

There are many other simple strategies and I challenge you to find new and simple ways to improve your mind power on a daily basis. Remember, your brain has the capacity to stay strong and healthy throughout your life.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Gaddis specializes in improving mind power through brain fitness. His practice, Commonwealth Psychological Services, PLC and his clinic, CPS NeuroCare, LLC, offers neuropsychological and cognitive assessment and specialized brain fitness programs to individuals to manage brain disorders, recover from brain injury, or increase personal success through improved brain performance.