How to Improve your Memory
Written by: Emma Anius
Exercise has many known benefits, including reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, strengthening the bones and muscles, and reducing stress. Regular physical exercise has also been shown to have benefits for the brain. Studies show that people who are physically active are less likely to experience a decline in their mental function and have a lowered risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Physical activity seems to help the brain, not only by keeping your blood flowing, it also increases chemicals that protect the brain and counters some of the natural reduction in brain connections that occurs with aging. How exercise contributes to such an important factor is unknown but studies have shown that regular exercise appears to have an effect on regulating the hippocampus. The hippocampus affects short-term memory, long-term memory and spatial navigation; this area of your brain is often the first one to suffer damage from Alzheimer’s disease.
Moderate intensity exercise has been shown to improve cognitive function, this not only has positive implications for the elderly, but anyone at risk for cognitive impairment. You don’t have to become an Olympic athlete to experience the benefits, exercising several times a week for 30 to 60 minutes has been shown to keep thinking, reasoning and learning skills sharp for healthy individuals. It has also been shown to delay the start of Alzheimer’s for people at risk of developing the disease and also slow the progress of the disease, improve memory, reasoning, judgment and thinking skills for people with mild Alzheimer’s disease or mild cognitive impairment.
Studies have shown that light weight training changes how well older women think and how blood flows within their brains.
A study undergone at the University of British Columbia revealed that after 12 months of lifting weights twice a week, M.R.I. scans showed that portions of the brain that control thinking were considerably more active. Studies also published by Canadian researchers measured the brain function and exercise levels of a large group of elderly adults for two to five years. Most of the participants underwent exercise such as walking, cooking, gardening and cleaning, the study revealed that about 90 percent of those with the greatest daily energy expenditure found that they could think and remember just about as well as when they began the study, and this ability remained for the following years. The volunteers who took no exercise scored significantly worse over the years on tests of cognitive function.
More research is needed to know to what degree adding physical activity improves memory or slows the progression of cognitive decline. Nonetheless, regular exercise is important to stay physically and mentally fit.
Looking after your body is the key to healthy living.
If you have no time to exercise or don’t know where to begin:
Adductor lift x 10, side raise x 10, sit-ups x 10, push-ups x 10, triceps dips x 15
Adductor lift x 20, side raise x 20, sit-ups x 20, push-ups x 20, triceps dips x 25
• For help with the exercises:
www.facebook.com/cyanfitness and view the photos.