Boost your memory with aerobic exercise

As our population ages, a greater amount of research is being done on preserving our health and therefore quality of life into our later years. Recent studies have shown the impact that aerobic exercise has on brain health and specifically cognitive function and memory. One study showed that those who exercise aerobically increased the size of their hippocampus the part of your brain that is responsible for memory storing, gathering and processing. This is the part of the brain that typically shrinks with age creating memory decline and those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease typically experience a greater than normal decrease in the size of their hippocampus.

Another interesting part of the study was that subjects who just stretched or did weights (at lower intensity/heart rate) did not experience this benefit to their hippocampus and memory. The critical part of exercising for memory and cognition seems to be sustaining significant periods of time at elevated heart rate that occurs with aerobic exercise such as cycling, running and circuit training.

-Kristin Lewis

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