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Exercise & Memory

October 3, 2018

A little light exercise improves memory.


Even light exercise can have memory benefits. (MabelAmber/Pixabay)

Even light exercise can have memory benefits. (MabelAmber/Pixabay)


Memory-boosting exercise. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

We’ve all heard that exercise can be good for the brain as well as the body. But for many older adults jogging and cycling may be difficult. In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, UC Irvine neurobiologist Michael Yassa and his colleagues report that even light exercise can help.

MICHAEL YASSA (University of California, Irvine):

And what we’ve found here is that even exercise sessions as short as ten minutes of exercise that is not very strenuous, equivalent to maybe a brisk walk, we can see effects on memory, positive effects on memory.


They also report finding a likely mechanism: improvements in neural connections to, from and within the brain’s hippocampus, an area known to affect memory. The work was based on single short bouts of exercise in young adults. The team is now investigating the effects of regular light exercise on older adults. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the science society.

Story by Bob Hirshon