Light ex­er­cise may boost mem­ory

South Shore Breaker - - Health& Wellness - DR. COLIN MA­CLEOD, ND HEALTH, NAT­U­RALLY info@dr­col­in­

Ex­er­cise im­proves health in so many ways that it could be con­sid­ered the most ef­fec­tive ‘drug’ on the planet.

Reg­u­lar phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity helps to re­duce our risk of many health prob­lems, from can­cers to di­a­betes to de­pres­sion

New re­search is show­ing that even short-term mem­ory can be sig­nif­i­cantly, and im­me­di­ately, ben­e­fited by ex­er­cise.

This new re­search out of the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia —

Irvine and pub­lished in pro­ceed­ings of the Na­tional Academy of Sciences, has ex­am­ined the ef­fects of short pe­ri­ods of light ex­er­cise on brain func­tion.

The re­searchers in­structed 36 healthy young adults to do a sin­gle 10-minute ses­sion of ex­er­cise with mild ex­er­tion.

Us­ing func­tional mag­netic res­o­nance imag­ing (FMRI), the re­searchers ob­served that af­ter 10 min­utes of light ex­er­tion, the par­tic­i­pants had a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in brain ac­tiv­ity be­tween the hip­pocam­pal den­tate gyrus and cor­ti­cal ar­eas linked to de­tailed mem­ory pro­cess­ing.

The re­searchers also no­ticed that this in­crease in mem­o­ryas­so­ci­ated brain ac­tiv­ity cor­re­lated with im­proved re­call when the par­tic­i­pants were given a mem­ory test.

The par­tic­i­pants with the most in­creased brain ac­tiv­ity on the FMRI scan also showed the best im­prove­ment in their re­call when given a mem­ory test The hip­pocam­pus is crit­i­cal for the creation of new mem­o­ries; it’s one of the first re­gions of the brain to de­te­ri­o­rate as we get older — and much more se­verely in Alzheimer’s dis- ease,” said project co-leader Michael Yassa and a pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­ni­aIrvine.

“Im­prov­ing the func­tion of the hip­pocam­pus holds much prom­ise for im­prov­ing mem­ory in ev­ery­day set­tings.”

While in the past, ex­er­cise has shown long-term ben­e­fits on many ar­eas of men­tal health, this re­search is unique in that it showed an im­me­di­ate im­prove­ment in mem­ory func­tion af­ter a bout of light phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity.

The re­searchers sug­gested that even walk­ing for a short pe­riod of time could be enough for a mem­ory boost.

“It’s en­cour­ag­ing to see more peo­ple keep­ing track of their ex­er­cise habits — by mon­i­tor­ing the num­ber of steps they’re tak­ing, for ex­am­ple,” said Yassa.

“Even short walk­ing breaks through­out the day may have con­sid­er­able ef­fects on im­prov­ing mem­ory and cog­ni­tion.”

While ex­er­cise is the best “one size fits all” medicine, most Cana­di­ans don’t get enough of it.

When in doubt, fol­low­ing the Cana­dian Phys­i­cal Ac­tiv­ity Guide­lines of 150 min­utes of mod­er­ate-to-vig­or­ous-in­ten­sity aer­o­bic phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity per week, and two bouts of weight­bear­ing ex­er­cise per week, is a safe bet.

It might just help you to re­mem­ber where you left your keys.

Do you have ques­tions about the ef­fects of ex­er­cise on mood, mem­ory or men­tal health in gen­eral? Ask your natur­o­pathic doc­tor.


A re­cent study has shown that light ex­er­cise may im­prove mem­ory.

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