Want to Jog Your Memory? Break a Sweat

A woman jogging outside on a trail
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Memory bank all filled up? Forgetting names, dates and where you stashed those extra paper towels? There’s something simple that may help. Just lace up your sneakers.

To learn more about exercise and memory, read Even Low-Impact Workouts Can Be a Boost to Long-Term Memory

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology found that a brief workout can do wonders for your long-term memory. After looking at a group of pictures, participants in a recent study were directed to do 20 minutes of resistance or strength training exercises, taking a break every few minutes. They were then asked to recall details of the images they’d seen.

The result? Exercising immediately after studying the pictures helped increase their memory of those images by 10 percent — even up to 48 hours later.

Experts say exercise puts some stress on your body, releasing hormones like cortisol and epinephrine into your bloodstream. And as it turns out, those hormones play an important role in memory retention.

Scientists already knew that aerobic exercise, like running and cycling, helps your memory powers, but vigorous workouts aren’t for everyone. In this study, they found the same positive effects with strength training movements, like leg lifts.

To learn more, check out these articles on Staying Sharp:

Jump for Joy and for Brain Health

Daily Walk Gets Brain Function Moving Along the Right Path

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