Exercise May Help Boost Memory, Thinking
Investigators at the University of Iowa enrolled 34 healthy seniors ages 60 to 80 to take part in two exercise sessions on stationary bikes. None of the participants were regularly active. Each of them rode a bike twice for 20 minutes – the first time with light resistance and the second one with more strenuous resistance. Before and after each session, all participants underwent brain scans and completed a memory test. After a single exercise session, the researchers observed increased connectivity between the brain area that surrounds the memory center and two regions involved in cognition and memory in some of the participants. Those individuals performed better on memory tests while other participants showed little or no improvement. The memory benefits seen didn’t last long, but study leader Michelle Voss said daily activity could yield prolonged benefits. She added that more research is needed to understand exactly how long memory improvements last after a single exercise session and why some people benefit more than others.
Michelle W. Voss et al, “Acute Exercise Effects Predict Training Change in Cognition and Connectivity.” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, August 2, 2019, DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000002115
More from this week’s bulletin:
- Seniors: You Can Still Build Muscles
- Too Much Chili Could Affect Your Brain
- A tasty curry recipe: Tofu Curry With Cauliflower, Rice Noodles & Cashews