We all know exercise is good for you in many ways. It gives you more energy, helps you sleep better (which in itself helps memory), helps your overall mood and is beneficial for long-term health. But did you know exercise has a direct effect on your brain’s ability to retain memory?
It’s true! Brain function is reliant on blood flow to the brain, and exercise increases blood flow. Researchers at the National Institute on Ageing discovered that aerobic exercise, such as running, is linked with improved memory as it triggers high levels of a protein called cathepsin B, which travels to the brain to trigger neuron growth and new connections in the hippocampus, an area in the brain believed to be critical for memory.
Standard recommendations advise half an hour of moderate physical activity most days of the week, or 150 minutes a week. If that seems daunting, start with a few minutes a day, and increase the amount you exercise by five or 10 minutes every week until you reach your goal.
Want to know more about your specific study challenge? Current MaKami students can see a learning strategist on campus and get a one-on-one study skills evaluation, learning plan and other supports to help them succeed.