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Can High Intensity Exercise Sharpen Your Memory?

Posted By: Staff

Having a sharp memory is something that not everyone is blessed with. But there are certain ways that helps one to improve their memory.

A new study has found that taking up certain high intensity exercises helps in improving one's memory.

During the study, the participants were put under six weeks of intense exercise with short bouts of interval training over the course of 20 minutes.

The participants showed significant improvements in what is known as high-interference memory, which, for example, allows us to distinguish our car from another of the same make and model.

high intensity exercise

The findings are important because memory performance of the study participants, who were all healthy young adults, increased over a relatively short period of time, the researchers said.

They also found that participants who experienced greater fitness gains also experienced greater increases in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that supports the growth, function and survival of brain cells.

"Improvements in this type of memory from exercise might help to explain the previously established link between aerobic exercise and better academic performance," said lead author of the study Jennifer Heisz, Assistant Professor at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada.

"At the other end of our lifespan, as we grow old, we might expect to see even greater benefits in individuals with memory impairment brought on by conditions such as dementia," she said.

For the study, 95 participants completed six weeks of exercise training, combined exercise and cognitive training or no training (the control group which did neither and remained sedentary).

high intensity exercise

Both the exercise and combined training groups improved performance on a high-interference memory task, while the control group did not. Researchers measured changes in aerobic fitness, memory and neurotrophic factor, before and after the study protocol.

The results revealed a potential mechanism for how exercise and cognitive training may be changing the brain to support cognition, suggesting that the two work together through complementary pathways of the brain to improve high-interference memory.

The study has a strong implications for an ageing population which is grappling with the growing problem of catastrophic diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer's.

The study was recently published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.

Meanwhile, listed here are a few foods that help to improve your memory. Check them out.

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1. Beetroots:

Beetroots are known for its antioxidant properties and helps in flushing out toxins from the body. Beetroots contain natural nitrates that helps to boost blood flow to the brain and also help provide energy after a tough workout session.

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2. Broccoli:

Broccoli contains a high amount of vitamin K as well as choline. Due to these components, broccoli is considered good for the brains and help in keeping your memory sharp. Rich in vitamin C and fibre content, consuming broccoli, in raw form or half cooked can be extremely helpful for your memory.

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3. Dark Chocolates:

Dark chocolates are good for your memory. It contains flavonols and are also rich in antioxidants. Consuming a piece or two of dark chocolates on a regular basis helps in boosting your memory.

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4. Avocados:

Avocados contain good fats, and are rich in vitamin B, C, K and folate. Avocados help to prevent blood clots in the brain, help improve cognitive function and thus enhances both memory and concentration.

(With Agency Inputs)

Read more about: exercise, memory
Story first published: Friday, November 24, 2017, 20:30 [IST]
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