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Even Very Light Exercise May Improve Memory Function

A recent study suggests that even a little bit of exercise may help improve memory. The study found that even very light exercise, such as taking a walk, may help with memory function.


Participants in the study included 36 healthy young adults who completed 10 minutes of very light intensity exercise. The researchers used MRIs to examine any changes in the brain. They found that mild exercise resulted in elevated activity in the hippocampus and surrounding regions. Th hippocampus is critical for the creation of new memories and is one of the first regions to of the brain to deteriorate as we get older.


The researchers also noted an increase in functional connectivity between hippocampal DG/CA3 and cortical regions linked to detailed memory processing. They also found that the magnitude of the enhanced functional connectivity predicted the extent of memory improvement.


Researchers from the University of Tsukuba led the study. It was published online ahead of print on September 24, 2018, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health.  The Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults aged 18-64 get at least two and a half hours (150 minutes) each week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity. Older adults should follow the adult guidelines as their abilities allow and should perform exercises that maintain or improve balance.

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