Out of shape? Your memory may suffer


May 2, 2014 |

Here’s another reason to drop that doughnut and hit the treadmill: A new study suggests aerobic fitness affects long-term memory.

Michigan State University researchers tested 75 college students during a two-day period and found those who were less fit had a harder time retaining information.

“The findings show that lower-fit individuals lose more memory across time,” said Kimberly Fenn, study co-author and assistant professor of psychology.

The study, which appears online in the research journal Cognitive, Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience, is one of the first to investigate young, supposedly healthy adults. Previous research on fitness and memory has focused largely on children, whose brains are still developing, and the elderly, whose memories are declining.

students-exercising

Participants studied related word pairs such as “camp” and “trail.” The next day, they were tested on the word pairs to evaluate long-term memory retention. Long-term memory is anything remembered more than about 30 seconds ago.

Aerobic fitness was gauged by oxygen consumption derived from a treadmill test and factored with the participants’ weight, percent body fat, age and sex.

The findings speak to the increasingly sedentary lifestyles found in the United States and other Western cultures. A surprising number of the college students in the study were significantly out of shape and did much worse at retaining information than those who were extremely fit, Fenn said.

Her co-authors included kinesiology researchers Matthew Pontifex and Karin Pfeiffer.

97 Responses to Out of shape? Your memory may suffer

  1. Mahanyele(14084504) May 8, 2014 at 3:05 am #

    I agree beacuse it is said that one 30-minutes cardio session pumps up extra blood to the brain, delivering oxygen and nutrients it needs to perform at maximum efficiency. Cardio exercises are also said to flood the brain with chemicals that enhance functions such as memory, problem solving and decision making. What i have mentioned above corresponds with the main idea of the article, lack of exercise lead to a poor memory and threatens ones health one’s memory as well. In conclusion exercising will definitely improve your cognitive ability.

  2. 14005302 May 5, 2014 at 1:23 pm #

    I think most of the people that read this blog already knew the information but didn’t want to believe it.
    I support this article 100%! Like previous comments said that when you practice or do something active and cause your heart and the blood flow through your veins to accelerate. It increases the oxygen levels in the blood that pumps the high in oxygen blood to the brain. This cause the brain to be able to perform better, which leads to a result of concentrating and learning better and then later improves ones long term memory.
    If one doesn’t want to believe this blog they can go and try it out for themselves!
    From personal experience, I’ve noticed that my concentration improves when my heart is racing, not only during a game but also afterwards when doing homework. It became more like a habit, and now if I didn’t went for a jog or done my training, I find it very difficult to continue with any academic.

  3. Milidrie(13018052) May 5, 2014 at 12:33 pm #

    The brain is no different than rest of the muscles in your body-you either use it or you lose it. Exercise increases heart rate which pump more oxygen to the brain. Exercise and a healthy diet improve concentration, which is necessary to perform at your very best. I definitely agree that exercise doesn’t only have a positive effect on muscle function but brain function as well.

  4. cebo sibiya(14230403) May 5, 2014 at 9:53 am #

    i always liked studies that involved the youth and their behaviour and this one is no exception, being healthy is one of the most important things one can do for themselves. we all want to remember our varsity days when we are 75 years old, for us to do that exercise is the only solution.

  5. 13072006 May 5, 2014 at 3:24 am #

    I’m glad this is a study that focuses on young adult’s health, anything about health in today’s articles consists of weight loss methods that never work but instead kill people. This study won’t just improve the academic life of students but their daily lives as their long term memories will be improved and pro-longed.

  6. Junaid (u14093040) May 5, 2014 at 3:03 am #

    I couldn’t agree more. Exercising boosts the blood flow in the body and it allows more blood to flow to a memory part in the brain therefore the more the blood flow you have the more sharp you will be. It also helps because blood releases chemicals which help in concentrating. Unfit people are usually lazy therefore a good exercise is always good to keep yourself sharp.

  7. SA NKOSI 14101875 May 5, 2014 at 2:08 am #

    I do agree with this blog, i was out of shape. at school it was very hard for me to get information, I had a short term memory but i started playing soccer and doing some exercise each and everyday things started to go well, my memory now work faster than before, it easy to get information now.

    I don’t think the is a person who disagree with this blog because it is a quiet clear one, out of shape mean unhealthy body, if the body is unhealthy every part in the body is also unhealthy too including the brain.so let us keep our body in shape so that our memory cant suffer and perform well

  8. SA NKOSI 14101875 May 5, 2014 at 2:03 am #

    I do agree with this blog, i was out of shape. at school it was very hard for me to get information, I had a short term memory but i started playing soccer and doing some exercise each and everyday things started to go well, my memory now work faster than before, it easy to get information now.
    I don’t think the is a person who disagree with this blog because it is a quiet clear one, out of shape mean unhealthy body, if the body is unhealthy every part in the body is also unhealthy too including the brain.so let us keep our body in shape so that our memory cant suffer

  9. u14051606 May 5, 2014 at 1:52 am #

    I do agree, I believe that your mind and body work hand in hand. In my opinion, exercise combined with a balanced diet can improve your concentration while studying therefore you will be able to retain more information.

  10. SA NKOSI 14101875 May 5, 2014 at 1:24 am #

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  11. Mihlalikazi 14103002 May 5, 2014 at 12:29 am #

    We all need healthy bodies for a healthy good life,so nothing to argue about,healthy body healthy minds.

  12. u14269202 May 4, 2014 at 11:06 pm #

    it’s more capable than of those aging people.
    The whole idea can be a myth to some people because there are lots of people out there who are not fit but still their long-term memory ability is superb. Actually which one exactly conveys the ability of long term-memory between neurons and your body shape? I think it is psychological that your body shape determine your memory capability even though it is biological proven. To be realistic not bias there are lot of unfit people who got better memory than fit one. According to biologist are those unfit people having some certain disorders?

  13. 14103959vaneza May 4, 2014 at 10:52 pm #

    I agree, when you are exercising you body healthy , fit and the mind also . Balancing a good diet also play a role , this will make you more healthier and you are less likely get disease like sugar diabetes, high blood pressure and heart attack. everyone want to look good and the only way to look good is to get you body into shape

  14. Yumna (14127602) May 4, 2014 at 10:27 pm #

    It is very sad how little people take care of their bodies and how easily they can let themselves go, and whats even sadder is that looking good is the main objective when working out to lose weight and the health benefits are not even considered. Research has shown that people who are overweight have about 5% less brain tissue than people who are of normal weight. This results in reduction of short term memory and thus affecting everyday life and academic life in turn. And mostly the parts of the brain affected are the frontal and temporary lobes which are important for memory and planning.

  15. 14077516 May 4, 2014 at 9:58 pm #

    I totally agree. I’ve experienced it time and again. If I do sports regularly, I study easier and more effectively. Whenever I skip my training, I become lazy and struggle to study. I strongly recommend a healthy and fit life- it just has so much benefits.

  16. 14077516 May 4, 2014 at 9:51 pm #

    I totally agree. When I regularly do sports, I study faster and more efficiently, but when I don’t, I am lazy and I don’t want to study. This fact has proven itself time and again. So I do reccomend a healthy and fit life- it just has so much more benefits!!

  17. Tshiamo(u14143039) May 4, 2014 at 9:48 pm #

    healthy body is a healthy mind.Intake of sugars and fatty food can result in diabetes which causes memory loss .High diet of sugar can affect the brains insulin receptors which results in less learning and memory skills

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