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Exercise helps improve memory

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Doing physical activity, whether it is a simple workout or a real sport, certainly brings many health benefits to our bodies. However, in addition to the already mentioned positive effects on the heart, weight control, joints, bones, muscles and stress control, practicing regular physical activity also brings countless benefits to our memory. The memory area affected specifically is the“high interference” memory, which is the one that allows us to distinguish, for example, our car from another of the same model and make.

The study

This was stated in a study from McMaster University, Canada, published in Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. According to scientists, practicing regular physical activity (lasting at least 6 weeks with training sessions of 20 minutes each) results in significant improvements for high-interference memory. In addition to this, however, according to the results of research put in place, subjects who maintain good physical fitness record an increase in brain neurotrophic factor, a protein that supports brain cell growth, function, and survival.

The research took place by examining 95 healthy individuals who were on a different program for 6 weeks. Some underwent regular and controlled physical activity, others in addition to sports also undertook brain training, and still others remained sedentary, avoiding any kind of sports or exercise. The results showed that in subjects who engaged in physical activity, whether accompanied or not by brain training, there was a significant improvement in high-interference memory performance, which did not happen at all in subjects who maintained a predominantly sedentary lifestyle. At this point the research will focus mainly on subjects in the elderly because, as research author Jennifer Heisz says, “One hypothesis is that more benefits will be observed on them, as this type of memory decreases with age.”

This research adds another piece to the long list of good reasons for deciding to engage in any kind of physical activity. In fact, as we have seen, in addition to benefiting our bodies, lowering our stress levels and preventing many of the most dangerous human diseases, sports are also a valuable ally for the well-being of our brains, especially our memory.

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