A new study suggests that just 10 minutes of light physical exercises a day is enough to boost the cognitive function and help the memory. Scientists at the University of California found that the connectivity between the parts of the brain responsible for memory formation and storage increases after exercises like walking, yoga, or tai chi. The findings could provide a simple and effective means to slow or prevent memory loss and cognitive impairment in older people.
Light physical exercises can boost memory and cognitive functions
The scientists surveyed 36 healthy volunteers between the ages of 20 and 30 and asked them to do 10 minutes of light physical exercises before assessing their memory capacity.
The researchers monitored the participants’ brain activity, and the examination showed that in the brains of those who had exercised, there was better communication between the hippocampus, an important region in memory storage, and the areas of the cortical brain, which are involved in vivid memory.
“The memory task was really quite challenging,” said Michael Yassa, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Irvine.
“A night walk is enough to get some benefit,” Yassa added but not before stating that the frequency and exact amount of exercise will depend on the person’s age, level of mobility, potential disability, and other lifestyle factors.
The scientists are now studying if the method is useful in tackling cognitive impairment
The scientists involved in this new study are currently using the same approach (involving light physical exercises) to observe the effects of light training sessions in older people over a more extended period.
“Our main goal is to try to develop an exercise prescription that can be used by older adults with disabilities or mobility impairments, but who can still adopt a very simple training regimen, perhaps be able to avoid cognitive impairment,” Yassa said.