Total Recall: How Exercise Improves Memory
Do you often find yourself feeling absent-minded, forgetting important dates, or just plain misplacing everyday items? Try going for a run or a ride, and then give the search another shot after you’ve exercised.
That’s a solution being touted by a study published by Neuroscience, which found that previously inactive individuals experienced vastly improved memory after exercise. Specifically, volunteers reported much higher recollection of objects—like wallets, cell phones, or where you parked your car.
The New York Times columnist Gretchen Reynolds recently analyzed the study.
“As expected, many of the volunteers who’d been exercising for the past month significantly improved their scores on the memory and mood tests. But not all of them did,” she writes. “In general, those volunteers who had exercised for the past month and who worked out on the day of retesting performed the best on the memory exam."
Researchers from the department of psychology and neuroscience at Dartmouth College, who conducted the experiment, also found that volunteers who worked out reported less anxiety than those that did not, re-enforcing the well-accepted view that exercise has a positive affect on mood.