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6 tips to help keep your memory sharp

ORLANDO, Fla. – Where did I put my keys? Why did I walk into the kitchen? What’s that person’s name? If you ask yourself these questions a lot, you’re not alone.

The average American is exposed to more than 100,000 words of information in a single day. That’s a lot for your brain to sort through. It’s no wonder remembering simple facts can be challenging. But there are some ways to help you remember better.

One in nine Americans aged 45 and older reports having memory problems. Luckily, there are some tricks to help you improve your ability to recall.

First, if you want to remember where you are placing an object, give yourself a play-by-play. For example, say something like, “I’m putting my keys on the counter.” You’re more likely to remember what you say out loud.

Also, try chewing gum. The theory is it leads to increased blood flow and brain activity. You may also be able to associate the memory with the gum-chewing.

Another hack is to close your eyes. One study found when people shut their eyes, they were able to answer 23% more questions correctly about a movie they had just watched.

Regular exercise may also help memory by improving the function of the brain’s hippocampus the center of memory storage.

Finally, avoid doorways. One study found people were two to three times more likely to forget what they were supposed to do after walking through a doorway. 

Experts say if you want to remember someone’s name, try to make an association when you first hear it. So, you might study the person’s face and associate “bushy eyebrows” with their name. Or you might give them a nickname “Nate” might be “Nate the great” to you. The more ridiculous the nickname, the better your chances of remembering it.