Aerobic Exercise Boosts Memory Retention in Humans

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A new study conducted at Columbia University in the US proves that exercise may boost cognition even in young adults.

The researchers studying the impacts of exercise in young adults, found a link between strong cognitive processes important for reasoning, planning, and problem solving with people involved in aerobic exercise. The study claims that aerobic exercise improves cognition—method of approaching towards a problem, understanding, and memory retention, through thoughts, experience, and senses—in young and middle-aged adults. The findings were published in the journal Neurology in January 2019.

The study involved the study of 132 adults ranging from the age bracket of 20 to 67 years. The participants were made to do below median aerobic capacity to an aerobic exercise training program or to a control program of stretching and core-strengthening exercises. All the participants were free to choose any form of aerobic exercise, however they had to reach the target hear rates. They were asked to work out four times a week.

The participants were tested for executive function, processing speed, language, attention, and episodic memory prior to being assigned to groups and at 12 and 24 weeks. The study suggested that exercise can prevent or slow the appearance of at least some age-related cognitive changes. They found that the participants with aerobic exercise showed an improved execution function, and the improvement was directly proportional to the age. The participants with higher age demonstrated greater improvement in executive function.

“Executive function usually peaks around age 30 and I think that aerobic exercise is good at rescuing lost function, as opposed to increasing performance in those without a decline,” said Yaakov Stern from Columbia University.

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About Author

Amy Carpenter is a reporter for Plains Gazette. She's worked and interned at Huffington Post and Vanity Fair. Amy is based in Arlington and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe oyster addiction, she's a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.