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Future Health

Exercise and Memory

January 2, 2017 

Aerobic exercise doesn’t just strengthen your heart, improve your weight, boost your lung capacity, prevent or reduce symptoms of Diabetes, and avoid depression. Researchers now believe aerobic exercise helps your brain work more efficiently, and importantly, can help us retain information we learn.


Subjects who engaged in aerobic exercise four hours after learning new information performed better in memory tests conducted 48 hours after they learned the information. The study involved 72 adults.


The researchers believe that the workout helped increase the production of certain compounds in the brain when the new memories were circulating. In other words, the exercise helped cement the memories.


The aerobic activity that gets your heart pumping and activates your sweat glands also helps increase the size of the hippocampus. The hippocampus is important for verbal memory and learning.


These benefits were not seen in subjects who were involved in resistance training alone.


Since the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are on the rise, it is recommended that everyone include some type of aerobic exercise in their routine at least three times a week.


Using aerobic exercise to cement memory is also a good way to improve your performance at school or work.


Along with these benefits of aerobic exercise come several other benefits and in turn indirectly help not only cement memories but improve performance. These include:


  • Reduce inflammation
  • Alleviate stress and anxiety
  • Improve quality of sleep
  • Stimulate growth factors prompting genesis of new brain cells
  • Lower insulin resistance


Try aerobic exercise for all of these health-boosting benefits, and look for immediate improvements. You will continue to see improvements for up to a year after you begin exercising at least three times a week. Maintaining this routine will ensure the benefits continue.