Mild Ex­er­cise Im­proves Mem­ory

Better Nutrition - - TREND WATCH -

Peo­ple who in­clude a lit­tle yoga or tai chi in their day may be more likely to re­mem­ber where they put their keys. Re­searchers at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Irvine, and Ja­pan’s Uni­ver­sity of Tsukuba found that even very light work­outs can in­crease the con­nec­tiv­ity be­tween parts of the brain re­spon­si­ble for mem­ory for­ma­tion and stor­age. Their re­sults were pub­lished in Pro­ceed­ings of the Na­tional Academy of Sciences.

In a study of 36 healthy young adults, the re­searchers dis­cov­ered that a sin­gle 10- minute pe­riod of mild ex­er­tion can yield con­sid­er­able cog­ni­tive ben­e­fits. Us­ing high- res­o­lu­tion func­tional mag­netic res­o­nance imag­ing, the team ex­am­ined par­tic­i­pants’ brains shortly af­ter ex­er­cise ses­sions and saw bet­ter con­nec­tiv­ity be­tween the hip­pocam­pus and cor­ti­cal ar­eas linked to de­tailed mem­ory pro­cess­ing.

“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 dis­ease,” said project co- leader Michael Yassa. “Im­prov­ing the func­tion of the hip­pocam­pus holds much prom­ise for im­prov­ing mem­ory in ev­ery­day set­tings.”

And a lit­tle bit of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity can go a long way, Yassa stressed. “It’s en­cour­ag­ing to see more peo­ple keep­ing track of their ex­er­cise habits by mon­i­tor­ing the num­ber of steps they’re tak­ing, for ex­am­ple,” he said. “Even short walk­ing breaks through­out the day may have con­sid­er­able ef­fects on im­prov­ing mem­ory and cog­ni­tion.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.