Many students think the only way to a better grade or remembering important information for a test is through studying. Exercise and memory, however, are linked, making fitness a key component in improved focus and better test performance.
Let’s discover the ways that working out can help college students focus and improve their information recall for those difficult exams and projects ahead.
Exercise and Memory in the Brain
Spark, The Revolutionary New Science to Exercise and the Brain by John J. Ratey, PhD, explores the relationship between exercise and brain function throughout his book.
He writes that exercise lowers stress and anxiety, improves learning, and helps an aging brain stay young. He cites studies that have shown that memory and concentration are improved in active versus non-active children.
Dr. Ratey also states that exercise can improve focus in the short term for the 3 hours after your workout.
When a person exercises, neurotransmitters called endorphins and serotonin are released into the bloodstream. The endorphins are the “feel good” chemicals that can improve memory. Adversely, endorphins can be released when stress or pain is present too.
The now common term “runner’s high” is a type of endorphin effect. This kind of high can be achieved naturally not only by running, but also through intense aerobic activity or weightlifting, or by meditating during Tai Chi, yoga, or Pilates. Serotonin eases depression symptoms and boosts mood, which is important to overall health.
With advancing technology, scientists can more easily quantify their findings from MRI scans and other new devices to track brain activity. An experiment carried out by the American College of Sports Medicine, for example, demonstrated the correlation between exercise and memory.
Students were asked to remember a sequence of letters. They could then choose to lift weights, run, or remain sedentary. The students who chose to run had the best memory recall of the 3 groups tested.
Regular exercise is not only important for your physical health, but it will also contribute to your mental well-being. Exercise can even help you to concentrate and perform better in tests.
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The professionals at Golden Health Fitness are here to help you improve your physical fitness which will then benefit your mental acuity.