Aerobic exercise can increase working memory and can control the side effects of caffeine such as mood swings, fatigue, and headache.
According to previous research, regular exercise is beneficial for cognitive function and helps to avoid brain deterioration associated with Alzheimer’s and dementia, but researchers continue to study more about these mechanisms. A new study by the research team from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center has found how aerobic exercise can help improve memory in adults with mild cognitive impairment. New research suggests that it is never too late to start aerobic exercise as it improves blood flow to areas of the brain.
According to previous studies, consistent aerobic exercise may decrease the chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease in adults who are at higher risk. However, more and more research is creating stronger links between regular exercise and the prevention of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Another study found that a hormone released during aerobic exercise can improve brain memory and plasticity. During this research, the researchers recruited around 30 individuals with signs of memory impairment and no history of regular exercise (average age of 66 years). The team divided them into two groups.
The first group was assigned with completing many aerobic exercises for around one year and the remaining group was assigned to perform balance and stretch sessions to strengthen the lower and upper body. The team measured brain blood flow in all individuals at the beginning and end of the research. After 12 months, the first group showed increased brain blood flow to the adjacent prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex compared to the second group. Moreover, the first group showed a 47% improvement in memory tests whereas the second group showed only minimal improvements. The research reveals a direct connection between increased brain blood flow and improvements in memory test scores.