Exercise is good for you for countless reasons. It’s a natural mood booster, it’s great for working out your muscles, joints and getting the blood flowing, and it’s been proven to not only reduce the risks of various diseases, but also potentially extend your life. However, recent studies suggest that going for a walk, or even a run, may also improve your memory.
An American study has discovered that walking may improve your memory. The study published its results in July 2018, in the journal Psychological Reports, where it explained that 24 people ages 18 to 35 participated in four experimental sessions. In the first session they had to try to memorize as many words as possible from two lists of 15 words while remaining still. For the following three, they walked on a treadmill at a moderate intensity for 15 minutes prior to, during, and after memorizing the lists of words. Researchers discovered that the participants were able to remember the words better when they walked beforehand.
Furthermore, a study conducted by the University of British Columbia found that regular aerobic exercise (the kind that gets your heart and sweat glands pumping) appears to boost the size of the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a part of the brain that’s involved with verbal memory and learning. It’s important to note that resistance training, balance and muscle toning exercises did not have the same results.
Heidi Godman, the executive editor of Harvard Health Letter, wrote in April, 2018, that exercise helps memory and thinking through both direct and indirect means.
“The benefits of exercise come directly from its ability to reduce insulin resistance, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the release of growth factors—chemicals in the brain that affect the health of brain cells, the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, and even the abundance and survival of new brain cells.”
So what does this mean for us?
It means that going for a brisk walk, a run, or participating in cardio exercise can improve your brain function as far as learning and memory goes. It could help reduce how often you get ‘brain fog’ or forget things, and ultimately keep you a little sharper for longer.
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