Exercise and Memory
One of the predictors of how well we will age is the presence or absence of a sedentary lifestyle. We know that fitness improves our health by giving us stronger muscles, bones, and hearts. Exercise also improves our minds. For example, it is shown to improve visual-spatial abilities, reaction speeds, executive function skills (cognitive control and emotional regulation), and improve memory.
Studies show that aerobic exercise improves memory in people of all ages. In one study of healthy adult males, they were told to walk on the treadmill. After only 30 minutes, tests showed their memory had improved. In a study of 7-9 years olds, tests showed they were able to memorize things better. So make sure you are doing your cardio, and you’ll be able to harness your ability to memorize a little bit better!
To get the brain-enhancing benefits of cardio, it doesn’t take much time. Experts say about 150 minutes per week. However, it actually takes very little time as we saw with the treadmill experiment. Only 1 hour per week of moderate exercise shows improvement. Will exercise give you mental superpowers? No, but it’ll help keep your brain healthy and functioning as it should for years to come.
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