Episode 174 – Use Exercise to Improve Your Memory and Productivity

Written by Jonathan

Normally when we think of exercise we think of muscles and toned bodies or maybe we think lower blood pressure and preventing heart disease, but the benefits of exercise go far beyond that, it’s also really good for your brain, today we’re going to talk about some of the benefits exercise has on your brain and how much you need to do to get it.

Also you should stick around because it’s funday Friday and we’re giving one lucky listener a free lifetime membership to our online fitness and lifestyle design community, where we have 100’s of exercise programs and over a dozen courses to guide you into being the most active version of yourself. Now let’s get to it.

In Episode 99 we talked about how exercise affects your brain chemistry and how setting and  achieving goals can really enhance your neurotransmitter activity, basically how good you feel and how hitting goals helps you build momentum to hit more goals, but I thought why stop there. Let’s talk about exercise, your memory and mental function.  In some of the earlier episodes I talked about how exercise has been shown to reduce your chance of getting dementia and diseases like Alzheimer’s and I wanted to do a show specific to this, but here’s what I found, the studies that talk about how exercise prevents Alzheimer’s are epidemiological and correlative studies, not causative. Which threw a bit of a rub into this episode, since I’m less fond of correlative studies,  but I am a ‘where there’s smoke there’s fire’ kind of a guy so my best guess is in the next 5 years or so we’re going to start seeing some causative studies coming out, which I will champion at that point.

Until then here are some interesting things I found about exercise and memory, in a study recently published by Arcoverde out of Brazil, her and her team found that people that had already been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s were able to improve their cognitive abilities and physical capacity by walking on a treadmill for 30 minutes 2 times a week at only 60% of their VO2max.  2 times a week for only 30 minutes at a speed where you could easily talk to someone else, that’s not very often, not very intense and not for very long.   

In a review study published in BioMed Research International they found that exercise improved cognitive function in people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia and in mouse and rat studies researchers have been able to show that neurogenesis or brain re-growth happens with exercise.

Exercise improves cognitive function and helps your brain grow new cells.

This doesn’t just happen in adults with Alzheimer’s and dementia it also happens with kids. In a 2011 study published in Health Psychology, they found that kids that were sedentary and overweight performed better in their executive function and math retests when they performed an aerobic exercise program everyday after school. On top of this the group that exercised for 40 minutes out performed the group that did 20 minutes.

I know we normally do a slightly more tactical show, but I don’t know how you can listen to this and not be interested in exercising in some way. Exercise helps your brain regenerate itself, it helps you improve your memory, it improves your ability to plan and it improves your ability to do math.  

What more could you ask for?  

If you know someone that struggles a little bit with remembering things or you have a child that struggles in math at school, you miy want to consider getting them involved in some form of exercise program. It doesn’t have to be really long and really intense, it just has to be enough to consistently get their heart rate up for 20 to 40 minutes everyday.

Before you take off today it is funday Friday and we are giving one lucky listener a free lifetime membership to our online fitness and lifestyle design community and the winner is, Kara star killer – Concise and useful  – 5 stars

Kara, thanks for this review and thanks for being involved in growing your knowledge and educating yourself outside the classroom, I know for me personally School is great for the foundation, but continuing education and experience is what will set you apart from everyone else.  

Send us an email to info@fitnessforfreedom.com and we’ll get you set up.

This has been Jonathan from Fitness For Freedom, take Care have a great weekend and we’ll talk to you Monday.



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