Activities to Improve Memory in Adults

Do you really want to be sitting in front of a computer participating in brain training apps in order to improve your memory? There are more enjoyable and far better activities to improve memory in adults according to a recent study from the University of Texas at Dallas and published in the journal Psychological Science. The key is to select new unfamiliar activities that are active and mentally challenging.

Activities to Improve Memory in Adults

choose new mentally-challenging activities to improve memory in adults

choose new mentally-challenging activities to improve memory in adults

In their study, Park et al. (2013) randomly divided 221 people aged between 60 and 90 into a series of groups:

  • One group took up photography or quilting, or both, and engaged in the activity for 15 hours a week over three months.
  • One control group took part in social activities like playing games or watching movies, but did not learn any new skills.
  • Another control group completed word puzzles or listened to classical music.

After three months those who had been learning photography or quilting showed improved memory function.

In comparison those listening to music, doing puzzles or engaging in social activities had not improved.

This study clearly shows the importance of engaging with taxing activities, especially in later years. The lead author Denise Park explained:

“It seems it is not enough just to get out and do something–it is important to get out and do something that is unfamiliar and mentally challenging, and that provides broad stimulation mentally and socially. When you are inside your comfort zone you may be outside of the enhancement zone.”

You can read the entire article here.

So, it appears that there are many choices when it comes to activities to improve memory in adults. Select an activity that you find enjoyable. Just be sure that it is both new and challenging for you. It could be learning another language, playing bridge, photography, quilting, playing a musical instrument, and so on. It also appears that the more information you need to learn (and as a result, the more challenging it is) the better.

With a busy work and family life, adding something else to the mix may not find its way into your schedule at the moment. You may have to put new projects on the back burner for now, but hopefully, in the interim, you’re learning new things at work to mentally challenge you. You can always look forward to trying out new projects while on vacation or in your retirement years.

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  1. Web Hosting says:

    A strong memory depends on the health and vitality of your brain. Whether you’re a student studying for final exams, a working professional interested in doing all you can to stay mentally sharp, or a senior looking to preserve and enhance your grey matter as you age, there are lots of things you can do to improve your memory and mental performance.

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