It’s no secret that the older we get, the less likely we are to retain information. According to a study done to measure short term memory, participants began to show memory loss around age 45. This seems incredibly young to begin losing the ability to accurately remember events, but there are steps you can take to help your memory last longer and things that will hurt your memory.


The way you live your life and the choices you make will inevitably make a difference in whether or not you have a solid memory. The following list are things many of us do that are believed to harm your memory over time.


  1. Chronic Stress


No one enjoys feeling overwhelmed by looming deadlines and ever-present bills, but some of us experience this stress every single day. A constant feeling of stress does nothing positive for your body as it raises the cortisol levels in our bodies making us susceptible to weight gain and mood swings as well.


  1. Smoking


It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that smoking is not a healthy activity, but it may be a shock that it can actually hurt your memory in the long term. Research has been done that shows that those who smoke could see a reduction in their memory between the ages of 43 and 53. The reason could be that the smoke limits the amount of oxygen your brain receives as a whole. As an added bonus, there’s also evidence to suggest that there is a link between smoking and developing Alzheimer’s disease.


  1. Staying Indoors all the Time


If you work in an office and it seems you never get outdoors, it’s time to change that. Going outside gives your body a healthy dose of Vitamin D, and avoiding the outdoors can lead to a deficiency in this important vitamin that helps with cognitive function.


  1. Not Exercising


It’s less important what kind of exercise you take part in, just so long as you are getting some exercise. You don’t have to be a long distance runner to reap the rewards of exercise, light exercise like walking or riding a bike can increase your memory function.