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Exercise is a good natural remedy for memory

Harold Mandel's picture

Researchers have found exercise improves memory.


There has been a growing awareness of the vital importance of good nutrition for good brain health. Exercise is also vitally important for the well being of the brain and for the nurturing of a good memory.

You should exercise to improve your memory

The British Psychological Society reports you should exercise to improve your memory. Short term memory has been found to be significantly improved with exercise.

Researchers did two experiments wherein lists of words to learn and to recall were given prior to and after exercise, or prior to and after rest, to healthy and active participants. The exercise consisted of 30 minutes of cycling of moderate intensity.

It was observed that when asked to recall words just after learning, exercising prior to learning produced better results than resting. Exercising prior to or after learning was better than resting for recalling words 30 minutes between learning and recall. However the best recall was when the participants exercised after they learned new words.

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Memory is improved with physical arousal

Dr David Marchant, who is from Edge Hill University, Lancashire, says the research of his group has suggested there is an improvement in short term memory with an acute bout of aerobic exercise. The findings have been in support of the idea that memory is improved with physical arousal. Exercising may really help people who must learn new information.

Harvard Medical School reports there are many good reasons to lead a physically active life. Consider that an active lifestyle can decrease the chances of getting diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Exercise can also help you maintain a healthy weight, decrease your blood pressure, and prevent suffering from anxiety and depression. Exercise can also help protect your memory and thinking skills.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia say they have discovered that regular aerobic exercise seems to boost the size of the hippocampus, which is the brain area that is involved in verbal memory and learning. This finding is very significant in consideration of the increasing rates of dementia. There is a new case of dementia detected every four seconds across the world.

Regions of the brain which control thinking and memory have increased volume in people who exercise

Several studies have suggested that the regions of the brain which control thinking and memory, consisting of the prefrontal cortex and medial temporal cortex, have increased volume in people who exercise in comparison to people who don’t exercise. Dr. Scott McGinnis, who is a neurologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an instructor in neurology at Harvard Medical School, says it has been very exciting to discover that people who take part in a program of regular exercise of moderate intensity over the course of six months or a year show an increase in the volume of these regions of the brain.

Clearly exercise is a good natural remedy for many dimensions of health. It would be wise to adhere to a regular exercise program to achieve good health in body and mind. It's important to also eat well and sleep well to maintain good overall health and well being.