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Want to improve your memory? Go to the gym

Date:
December 13, 2016
Source:
British Psychological Society (BPS)
Summary:
Exercise improves your short-term memory, new research concludes. In two experiments, healthy and active participants were given lists of words to learn and recall either after or before exercise, or before or after a period of rest. Exercise consisted of 30 minutes of moderate intensity cycling.
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Exercise improves your short-term memory.

That is the conclusion of research being presented at the annual conference of the British Psychological Society's Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology in Cardiff by Dr David Marchant from Edge Hill University, Lancashire.

In two experiments, healthy and active participants were given lists of words to learn and recall either after or before exercise, or before or after a period of rest. Exercise consisted of 30 minutes of moderate intensity cycling.

The results showed that, when recalling the words immediately after learning, exercising before learning produced the best results than rest. When asked to wait 30 minutes between learning and recall, exercising before or after learning was better than resting, but the best recall was when participants exercised after learning the words.

Dr Marchant says: "Our research suggests that an acute bout of aerobic exercise improves your short-term memory. Exercise before learning benefited immediate recall. But when people had to wait to recall the words, they performed best when they exercised after learning the lists. This improved memory didn't come at the expense of making more mistakes during remembering.

"Our findings are consistent with the idea that physical arousal improves memory, and those who need to learn information may benefit from taking part in exercise."


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Materials provided by British Psychological Society (BPS). Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


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British Psychological Society (BPS). "Want to improve your memory? Go to the gym." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 December 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161213074341.htm>.
British Psychological Society (BPS). (2016, December 13). Want to improve your memory? Go to the gym. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 24, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161213074341.htm
British Psychological Society (BPS). "Want to improve your memory? Go to the gym." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161213074341.htm (accessed March 24, 2017).