Specific exercises help to boost memory, and this is one of them
I have always loved working out at the gym. This all started with our sports hour in high school, and one of the options was to work out in a gym setting. Although I was very young at the time, and it was an aerobics class — I lost myself in it. I was in my sweatpants, discouraged about my choice of clothing and the awkward coordination of keeping up with the instructor. But at least I had friends to laugh with, which made all the difference. But some people are nipped by the gym bug early, and some don’t enjoy it. The gym setting became my happy place well into my teens. If I had a coach back then, perhaps it would have made an athlete out of me. We should encourage our children to work out — and the gym is one of the safest places to do so. It’s not just for boys getting together to lift weights. Girls/women are just as capable. Weight training is not only a great way to reshape your body and lose weight, but it’s also great for your memory. To test this theory’s validity, the researcher conducted a funny exercise. They got several people to look at a series of 90 photos on a computer screen, showing positive and negative images. (these photos were either kids on water slides or mutated bodies with clock images thrown in the mix — extraordinarily strange if you ask me, lol). All participants weren’t asked to remember the images. Instead, everyone sat at a leg extension machine. Half of them extended and contracted each leg at their maximum effort of 50 times. The control group just sat in the chair and allowed the machine and the experimenter to move their legs. While this was happening, all participants had their blood pressure, and heart rate monitored. In addition, saliva samples were also taken to detect stress markers. After 48 hours, the participants returned to the lab and saw more photos with the old ones in the mix. The control group recalled 50 per cent of the photos from the first session, whilst the exercised group remembered 60 per cent. What can an hourly workout do for you if a simple exercise like leg extensions can boost your memory in such a small way? You don’t have to do a lot of weight training to gain the memory-increasing benefits. Exercises like squats, knee bends and deadlifts would produce the same results — perhaps even more substantial ones. Participants who exercised showed the highest psychological responses to the positive and negative images. Although this study was conducted on young adults, there are many benefits that older adults can attain.
Key take away
To improve your memory and psychological response, take some form of weight-bearing exercise throughout the week. Do you only have 30 minutes? Then, why not try some circuit or a specific weight training program? Set some goals for your health and body shape — and whilst that improves every time you train, think of all the memory improvements that will come with it.
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