3 Essential Tips for Improving Working Memory

3 tips to improve working memory: exercise regularly, use mnemonic devices, and engage in mentally stimulating activities.
3 Essential Tips for Improving Working Memory


In a world that demands a constant delivery of information, a strong working memory is essential. Every action from learning new information, solving problems, making decisions, and multitasking depends on this cognitive function. A working memory allows us to store and manipulate small pieces of information for short periods, making it possible for us to navigate life’s daily activities effectively.

However, as much as working memory is crucial, it is a vulnerable cognitive function that can easily deteriorate when exposed to different factors such as aging, stress, medical conditions, and sleep deprivation. Improving your working memory can significantly transform your cognitive performance and change the trajectory of your life.

This article intends to explore three essential tips that can improve your working memory. The article provides insights on the benefits of exercising regularly, using mnemonic devices, and engaging in mentally stimulating activities. By the end of the article, readers will have a clear understanding of the importance of working memory and how to improve it.

Tips to Improve Working Memory

Here are three essential tips to improve working memory and enhance cognitive performance:

1. Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise has various benefits for brain health, including improving working memory. Exercise increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain, which stimulates the growth and survival of brain cells and enhances their connectivity. Moreover, exercise also promotes the release of neurotrophic factors, such as BDNF and NGF, which support neuroplasticity - the brain’s ability to change and adapt in response to new challenges.

Research has shown that both aerobic exercise and resistance training can improve working memory in young and older adults. A study published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience found that six weeks of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise significantly improved spatial working memory and increased the volume of the hippocampus - a brain region involved in memory and learning. Another study published in the Journal of Aging Research found that resistance training improved working memory performance in older women, indicating that exercise can benefit working memory across the lifespan.

2. Use Mnemonic Devices

Mnemonic devices are techniques that help us remember and recall information by associating them with familiar cues. Mnemonic devices can be verbal or visual and can use acronyms, images, sounds, or rhymes to make information more memorable. For example, to remember the order of planets in our solar system, we can use the acronym “My very eager mother just served us nine pizzas” (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto).

Research has shown that using mnemonic devices can improve working memory performance in various populations, including older adults, children, and people with memory impairments. A meta-analysis published in the journal Educational Psychology Review found that mnemonic strategies improved working memory capacity and recall accuracy, and the effect sizes were larger for older than younger adults. Therefore, using mnemonic devices can be a simple yet effective way to enhance working memory and reduce cognitive load.

3. Engage in Mentally Stimulating Activities

Engaging in mentally stimulating activities can improve working memory by challenging our cognitive abilities and expanding the neural networks in our brains. Mentally stimulating activities can be varied and can include reading, writing, playing games, learning new skills, or solving puzzles. The key is to choose activities that are novel, complex, and require active participation and attention.

Research has shown that engaging in mentally stimulating activities can improve various cognitive functions, including working memory. For example, a study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology found that playing chess improved working memory capacity and fluid intelligence in children. Another study published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience found that learning a new language for six weeks increased working memory capacity and strengthened the connections in the prefrontal cortex - a brain region involved in executive functions.

Therefore, engaging in mentally stimulating activities can not only improve working memory but also benefit other cognitive functions and reduce the risk of cognitive decline. It’s crucial to challenge our brains regularly and seek novel and meaningful experiences to keep them healthy and functional.


In conclusion, working memory is a crucial cognitive function that affects our daily lives in various ways. Whether we are students, professionals, or retirees, improving working memory can help us perform better in academic, work, or social situations and maintain our cognitive health in the long run.

To enhance our working memory, we need to adopt healthy habits, such as exercising regularly, using mnemonic devices, and engaging in mentally stimulating activities. These tips can help us strengthen our neural connections, increase neuroplasticity and cognitive reserves, and optimize our brain functioning.

However, improving working memory is not a one-size-fits-all process, and it may take some time and effort to see significant results. Therefore, we need to stay motivated, consistent, and patient, and seek professional help if needed.

Remember, our brains are capable of changing and adapting to new stimuli throughout our lives. By taking care of our working memory, we can unleash our full cognitive potential and lead a fulfilling and successful life.