5 ways to exercise and strengthen your memory
Working out doesn’t just do wonders for your physical health - it helps your brain stay sharp and strengthens your memory too. In fact, research suggests that moderate to intense exercise can slow down brain aging by as much as 10 years; protecting memory and thinking skills.
So how does it do it? Well, moving the body demands a lot from the brain. From light yoga to moderate running, exercise activates a multitude of neurons which generate, take in and make sense off repeated, rapid-fire messages from the nervous system. These signals coordinate muscle contractions, sight, balance, and other complex body systems.
Here are five ways to keep your brain healthy with age and prevent diseases such as dementia while keeping your body is tip-top condition.
1.Walk it out
According to a study done by the Department of Exercise Science at the University of Georgia, exercising for just 20 minutes can help with information processing and memory functions. By taking a brisk walk for roughly one hour, twice a week, you’ll get your heart pumping for 120 minutes of the week. Think of the brain power.
2.Exercise first thing
Morning workouts not only spike brain activity and prepares you for whatever work throws at you that day - they also help retain new information and instigate a more positive reaction to complex situations. If you can’t fit in a morning workout - any exercise is better than none. Remember, anything that is good for your heart is brilliant for your brain.
3.Workout four hours after learning
Research shows that exercising four hours after learning something new helps you retain the information learned for the long-term. However, the same effect wasn’t found if the workout was done immediately after learning something. It’s thought to have something to do with the release of catecholamines, which are chemicals known to improve memory consolidation - but the exact reason for this memory retention is still not known precisely.
As well as helping you lose weight, stay flexible, diminish stress and make friends, dance is one of the best workouts for the brain. From swing to Zumba, workouts that incorporate coordination rhythm and strategy alongside cardio can boost your memory and prevent the onset of dementia as you get older. It does this by reversing the volume loss in the hippocampus, the section of the brain that’s in charge of memory. Learning dance moves is both physically and mentally demanding, so dancers are constantly maximise brain functions by memorising and running through steps in dance routines.
5.Switch it up
Heading to the gym alone? Plan a circuit workout. By mixing up activities, you’ll keep your heart rate spiked while constantly redirecting your attention to deal with different physical and mental demands. If you don’t have time for a proper workout and are feeling a little exhausted, try a few star jumps to get your blood pumping and your brain into gear.