Study Reveals How 20 minutes of Intense Exercise Can Boost Memory

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It may sound incredible and looks too good to be true, but a new study has shown that vigorous exercise for a short period of time can boost the so-called interference memory. The research also pointed to a potential mechanism that may explain the findings.

The research, conducted by scientists from the McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, and published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience revealed that physical training also impart the brain positively.

The findings as reported on Medical News Today, discovered that 20-minute daily sessions of interval training for 6 weeks dramatically improves performance in a so-called high-interference memory task.

According to the lead author of the study Jennifer Heisz, an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University, 95 young adult participants were recruited for their study, and the participants engaged in one of the following three scenarios for a duration of 6 weeks: physical training plus cognitive training, physical training only, or no training at all.

Explaining the phrase the interference memory theory, she said it refers to the way in which information that we already know and have memorized may interfere with our ability to learn new material. “Good interference memory means that old knowledge works seamlessly with new information, enabling us, for example, to distinguish a new car from our old one, even if they are the same brand and model”.

The team also measured their levels of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), as well as insulin-like growth factor-1, both before and after the interventions. BDNF promotes the survival, growth, and maintenance of neurons.

The researchers found that the group who had engaged in intense physical activity performed much better at the high-interference memory task and had higher levels of BDNF compared with the control group.

The takeaway from here is that, Nigerians should endeavour to engage in more intense physical exercise for better brain performance.

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