Study Finds High Intensity Interval Training May Help Improve Memory Performance
Physical activity can help the brain by increasing blood flow and increasing chemicals that protect the brain. According to a new study, high intensity interval training may help improve memory performance better than moderate continuous training or stretching.
Sixty-four sedentary older adults participated in one of three interventions: high-intensity interval training, moderate continuous training, or stretching (this group acted as the control). They performed the exercises three times per week for twelve weeks.
The researchers tested high-interference memory at baseline and after 12 weeks using a Mnemonic Similarity task. They also tested executive function using Go Nogo and Flanker tasks.
Participants in the high-intensity group had greater improvements in memory performance, compared to the moderate continuous and stretching groups. Participants in both the high intensity and moderate continuous groups saw improvements in executive function, compared to the stretching group.
The study was conducted by researchers from McMaster University. It was published online ahead of print on October 21, 2019 in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism.