Wednesday, August 21

UCLA study finds physical exercise temporarily aids memory formation


UCLA researchers found in a study published Tuesday that exercising may make it easier for individuals to memorize things. The study evaluated individuals doing memory strengthening exercises while riding stationary bikes. (Amy Dixon/Assistant Photo editor)

UCLA researchers found in a study published Tuesday that exercising may make it easier for individuals to memorize things. The study evaluated individuals doing memory strengthening exercises while riding stationary bikes. (Amy Dixon/Assistant Photo editor)


Exercise may temporarily help individuals better memorize information, according to a UCLA research report.

In a study published Tuesday, Sarah McEwen, a UCLA research psychologist, and David Merrill, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences, led a four-week study with two groups of adults between the ages of 60 and 75, all of whom had slight memory ailments. The study found that the group of adults riding stationary bikes while performing memory strengthening exercises had a greater improvement in memory than the group that participated in memory training and exercise separately.

More than 40 percent of adults over the age of 60 have slight forgetfulness or memory loss, according to the study. Previous research has also shown that factors such as exercise, adequate amounts of sleep, healthy diet, memory training and greater social interaction have contributed to improvements in memory.

Researchers said in the study that their research shows there could be new ways to improve memory by incorporating exercise into memory-strengthening activities. The researchers also said they plan to conduct further experimentation to determine whether the results can be applied to a larger number of individuals.

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