Exercise To Boost Memory
You can improve your memory up to 30 percent if you’re willing to put some time and effort into exercise. Researchers at Canada’s McMaster University report that healthy seniors between the ages of 60 and 88 who completed three weekly sessions of high-intensity interval training for 12 weeks saw up to 30 percent improvement in their memory. Another group of study participants of the same age worked out moderately but showed no changes in memory. Neither did those in a third group that performed stretching only. “It’s never too late to get the brain health benefits of being physically active, but if you are starting late and want to see results fast, our research suggests you may need to increase the intensity of your exercise,” said study leader Jennifer Heisz, an associate professor in the University’s Department of Kinesiology. She added that it’s important to tailor exercise to current fitness levels and explained that increasing the intensity of a workout can be as simple as adding hills to daily walk or accelerating your pace between streetlamps.
My take? I’m encouraged to see that the effects of exercise on seniors’ memory are being recognized and studied. We’ve known for some time that physical exercise seems to correlate with better mental function, perhaps because of improved circulation. Research also shows that the old adage “use it or lose it” applies to your mental power as much as to the rest of your body Crossword puzzles, mind games, and challenging reading or educational classes can all help you keep your brain agile and strong.
Jennifer J. Heisz et al, “The effects of aerobic exercise intensity on memory in older adults.” Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, October 30, 2019; DOI: 10.1139/apnm-2019-0495
More from this week’s bulletin:
- Why You Do Have Time To Exercise
- Exercise To Stay Alive
- This week’s recipe: Fava Bean Bruschetta
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