The exercise that strengthens memory if you do it daily

The exercise that strengthens memory if you do it daily
The exercise that strengthens memory if you do it daily

There are many scientific studies that Physical exercise is linked to improved memoryBut now, scientists and researchers from CONICET have gone a step further. They designed a new memory test within a virtual reality environment, reaching the conclusion that there is a particular exercise that can improve spatial memory. The study, published in the journal iScience, found that Performing 25 minutes of exercise on a stationary bike improves spatial memory.

«Spatial memory, which records information about the environment and the location of objects in it, deteriorates with aging and Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases, so it is important to study simple ways to improve it,” says Fabricio Ballarini, co-director of the study and CONICET researcher at the Professor Eduardo de Robertis Institute of Cellular Biology and Neuroscience.

What did the study consist of

To carry out this study, the following were evaluated: 98 volunteers between 18 and 35 years old who performed a memory test in a virtual reality environment. Participants were asked to remember the position of flags within a virtual landscape, simulating difficult and easy conditions. After 25 minutes of stationary cycling after the training, People who did the exercise benefited from remembering the position of the flags.“This is probably because that brief period of exercise specifically benefited the spatial memory that was being consolidated at that time,” said Daniela Ramírez Butavand, first author of the study.

The difference with other studies is that most are focused on the impact of chronic physical activity, whereas this study addressed the effect of occasional physical activity on sedentary people. This could have certain applications both clinically and in everyday life, as stated by Pedro Bekinschtein, also director of the work and researcher at CONICET: “Although we know that Physical activity is very beneficial for maintaining and improving many cognitive processes.this effect generally requires a medium or high frequency of exercise for a prolonged period of time. Sometimes people abandon frequent physical activity. Our work shows that A single period of very simple exercise is beneficial for a memory “These findings could be used in the clinic in the future and also to motivate people to do physical activity to remember better,” said the expert.

The hippocampus is the region of the brain that suffers the most damage over time. / Photo by Intenza Fitness on Unsplash.

Physical exercise is essential for maintaining memory

In an article published in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society In 2019, they already presented the data that linked exercise and improved memory. According to their conclusions, a session of 30 minutes of moderate exercise on a stationary bike increases the brain circuits located in the hippocampus, an area of ​​the brain with essential functions for memories. The hippocampus shrinks with ageespecially in patients with Alzheimer’s and showed that regular exercise could increase the hippocampus with consequent improvement in cognitive functions.

To verify these changes, the researchers conducted functional brain resonance imaging in patients aged between 55 and 85 years after performing the exercise as well as after having been seated for a while. The test consisted of remember famous names compared to other names selected from the phone book, since the act of remembering stimulates the brain circuits of semantic memory, which are the ones that degrade over time. In this way, they found that, After the exercise, more brain regions were activated, which allowed for better recall.

Health benefits of stationary bicycles

  1. Helps in weight loss: In just half an hour of exercise you can lose up to 260 calories, depending on the intensity of the exercise on the stationary bike.
  2. Strengthens leg muscles: As you use the exercise bike, your muscular endurance increases, which makes your muscles stronger. Not only your muscles, but your ligaments and bones in your legs will also improve, which helps prevent injuries.
  3. Helps in injury recovery: The stationary bike is an ideal exercise for recovering from lower body injuries while regaining lost muscle mass. As it is a low-impact exercise, the stationary bike protects the joints of the knees, ankles and hips, thus helping in recovery without increasing the risk of injury.
  4. Improves the condition of the joints: The constant repetition of pedaling encourages the stretching of cartilage, which is the firm but flexible tissue that covers the ends of bones. Over time, this stretching causes your joints to become more resistant, remain protected and stay healthy.
  5. It reduces stress: When using a stationary bike, especially at high intensity, hormones such as endorphins and adrenaline are released, which makes you feel euphoria and pleasure, also considerably reducing stress levels.
  6. Lowers blood pressure: The stationary bike is a great cardiovascular exercise that, in addition to controlling blood pressure, also helps control blood sugar levels, making the heart function better.
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