Regular exercise adds up to big memory boosts

It’s well known that regular exercise helps maintain brain function. New research finds that brain activity increases and memory improves immediately after even a short, single bout of exercise.

And the more exertion you put into that exercise, the greater the improvements. In addition, whatever level of exertion you’re able to achieve on that single exercise predicts how much brain boost you’ll get if you continue to exercise at the same intensity over a longer term. These findings were presented at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society’s annual meeting on March 24, 2019. Researchers recruited 34 people, average age 67, and gave each a baseline functional MRI (fMRI) scan, which reflects brain activity, and a memory test in which they had to remember faces. The researchers then asked the participants to exercise for 20 minutes on a stationary bike that could measure their physical effort.

They then repeated the fMRI scans and memory tests. The participants were divided into two groups based on their exertion level — either moderate intensity or lower intensity. Both groups otherwise had a similar stationary bike program: 50 minutes of exercise, three times per week, for three months. The fMRI scans and memory tests were repeated at the end of the three months. People in both groups improved their cardio fitness.

The researchers found that the people who continued to perform at the moderate-intensity level had higher brain test scores at the end compared with those who stayed at the lower intensity for the three months.

The possible link between level of exertion and cognitive boost during any one bout of exercise and how it might predict persistent brain improvements later on is intriguing. But even if you begin at a lower exercise intensity level, increasing your physical effort over time and then maintaining it consistently could lead to positive brain effects.

Below are spiritual recipe for health and wellness: Matthew E. McLaren

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4 NIV

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12 NIV

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. Psalm 94:19 NIV

The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad. Psalm 118:24 NIV

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. Habakkuk 3:17-18 NIV

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11 NIV

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8-9 NIV

I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. Isaiah 61:10 NIV

Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. John 16:24 NIV

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV

A person finds joy in giving an apt reply— and how good is a timely word! Proverbs 15:23 NIV

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