Did you know a single session of exercise can aid in memory retention?
Yes, you read correctly. Recent research out from the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour in the Netherlands has suggested that it only takes one exercise session to see the benefits of memory retention. They found that those who exercised after completing a memory task had improved brain patterns associated with memory and better recall and retention compared to non-exercisers.
The study looked at 72 participants who engaged in a 40 minute picture memory based activity. The group was halved to an exercise and a non-exercise group. Those who exercised, exercised for 35 minutes four hours after the task. A couple of days later, all participants returned and completed the same task with brain imaging and recall. Those who exercised performed better; with better recall of information and stronger activation of the brain areas associated with memory control.
So what’s the Science behind this study?
Research is now looking into how exercise is beneficial for the brain, and not just the heart and our organs. When people exercise, neurotransmitters are released, leading to a production of proteins essential for brain plasticity. Basically, those proteins and neurotransmitters are able to adapt the brain and the neural pathways, leading it to be more efficient as well and maintaining important neural areas. Exercise is now seen as a preventative method in decreasing Alzheimer's and Dementia, as well as being a treatment method for those with depression and anxiety.
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