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As a student, you know very well how important memory is to learning. Without the capacity for forming and maintaining memory, we’d all struggle immensely, in school and in our personal lives. The good news is that there are ways to train our memories so that they remain reliable throughout our studies in school and beyond into old age.

Here are a few ways you can train, improve, and preserve your memory: 

1. Get Moving

Exercise! That’s right; your favorite. Not only do our muscles and bones benefit from exercise, but so do our brains. For instance, regular exercise helps our blood vessels maintain a healthy, consistent flow of blood to our brains. If we don’t regularly exercise, our vessels slowly begin to lose their ability to effectively pump blood, which limits the amount of oxygen and nutrients that are sent to your brain. That’s not good. We need our brains to fire on all cylinders in order to provide the best possible environment to foster and preserve memory.

But you don’t have to be a marathoner to receive the memory-boosting benefits you want. You can take short walks, sign up for a ballroom dance class, or swim laps at your local community pool.

2. Play Games

Did you know that you can have fun while increasing your memory power? It’s true. Studies have shown that activities such as jigsaw puzzles, word games, and trivia quizzes all help improve memory. So, next time you have friends over, or you want to spend a couple of hours with your family, try a game! Our favorite memory-boosting games include Pictionary, Words With Friends, and the Fit Brains Trainer app.

Plus, here are “5 Apps That Help Improve Memory and Cognition Overall.”

Improve and train your memory with these tips.

3. Eat Fish

If you don’t like the taste of fish, you can still get the memory-improving benefits of fish by taking omega-3 supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids are fats commonly found in marine and plant oils and have been shown to promote brain and heart health. In fact, a new study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh shows that omega-3 supplements can help boost memory. Fish rich in omega-3s include salmon, mackerel, anchovy, sardine, and rainbow trout. Happy fishing—or supplement hunting!

4. Try Chunking

Let’s be clear about this: we’re not putting you down. Chunking, as coined by Cambridge neuroscientist Daniel Bor, is “a kind of cognitive compression mechanism wherein we parse information into chunks that are more memorable and easier to process than the seemingly random bits of which they’re composed.” In an article from The Atlantic titled “Using Pattern Recognition to Enhance Memory and Creativity,” author Maria Popova gives us insight into the integral value Bor had placed on chunking: 
Consciousness and chunking allow us to turn the dull sludge of independent episodes in our lives into a shimmering, dense web, interlinked by all the myriad patterns we spot. It becomes a positive feedback loop, making the detection of new connections even easier, and creates a domain ripe for understanding how things actually work, of reaching that supremely powerful realm of discerning the mechanism of things. At the same time, our memory system becomes far more efficient, effective -- and intelligent -- than it could ever be without such refined methods to extract useful structure from raw data.

If you’re confused, don’t worry. You can read more about chunking and pattern recognition here.

5. Don’t Cram

We all procrastinate from time to time. Can we agree on that? Yes? Okay. It’s human. In fact, a little bit of procrastination can be a good thing. But cramming is another thing entirely. When you cram, you aren’t giving yourself enough time to process the information. In other words, you’re not going to remember everything if you cram. If you can space out your studies, you’ll have more success processing and remembering the information you need for your next test or term paper. If you are prone to cramming, don’t think you have to change at once though. It’ll take time, so start small: for your next test, try choosing two days to study as a start, and build out from there. Pretty soon you’ll find that you’ll be less stressed, your performance will improve, and your brain will be doing a happy dance.

Do you have your own tips and tricks for memory-boosting? We’d love to hear from you. Share your favorite memory-boosting games, exercises, and study tips by emailing Allied’s copywriter, Non Wels, at nwels[at]alliedschools[dot]com. Or you can tweet us at @AlliedSchools. If you have questions about our online career training programs, give us a call at (888) 501-7686.

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