Exercise – it only takes a little to improve your memory
Scientists from California and Japan have found that just 10 minutes of light exercise has noticeable benefits for the hippocampus – the part of the brain where memories are formed and stored.
The study looked at 36 healthy young adults, using high resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine their brains after a short session of mild exertion.
They saw improved connectivity between areas of the hippocampus linked to detailed memory processing. The degree of improvement in connectivity correlated with improvements in recall tests.
Previous studies have shown that exercise can promote the generation of new brain cells in the hippocampus, but this new research shows that improved connectivity occurs immediately following a 10-minute period of exercise, suggesting that a minimal level of daily exercise could be beneficial in improving memory and cognition.
The hippocampus is one of the first parts of the brain to deteriorate as we age, particularly in Alzheimer’s patients.
The researchers say that even short walking breaks throughout the day could have substantial effects, and further study on the effects of exercise could help stave of cognitive decline as we age.