Effect of High-Intensity Exercise on Memory

People exercising on stationary bikes next to each other
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This McMaster University study reinforces findings from past studies showing similar memory benefits from regular exercise.

Want to help improve your memory? Engaging in high-intensity workouts can help, research shows.

A study conducted by McMaster University in October 2019 found that short bursts of intense exercise can have significant memory benefits in older adults. The researchers discovered that study participants who began doing high-intensity workouts saw their high-interference memory, where two very similar memories cause interference, or confusion, because they are hard to distinguish from one another, improve by up to 30 percent.

One of the study’s authors, Jennifer Heisz, noted that the participants were sedentary and not exercising on a regular basis before the study, yet were still able to see these impressive results in just a 12-week period. She said these findings prove “it’s never too late to get the brain health benefits of being physically active.”

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