Tag Archives: Aerobic exercise

Physical Exercise Improves Vocabulary Learning

9 Sep

A PLOS paper titled: “Physical Exercise during Encoding Improves Vocabulary Learning in Young Female Adults: A Neuroendocrinological Study.” Here is the abstract:

“Acute physical activity has been repeatedly shown to improve various cognitive functions. However, there have been no investigations comparing the effects of exercise during verbal encoding versus exercise prior to encoding on long-term memory performance. In this current psychoneuroendocrinological study we aim to test whether light to moderate ergometric bicycling during vocabulary encoding enhances subsequent recall compared to encoding during physical rest and encoding after being physically active. Furthermore, we examined the kinetics of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in serum which has been previously shown to correlate with learning performance. We also controlled for the BDNF val66met polymorphism. We found better vocabulary test performance for subjects that were physically active during the encoding phase compared to sedentary subjects. Post-hoc tests revealed that this effect was particularly present in initially low performers. BDNF in serum and BDNF genotype failed to account for the current result. Our data indicates that light to moderate simultaneous physical activity during encoding, but not prior to encoding, is beneficial for subsequent recall of new items.”


Weight lifting improves memory

4 Oct


the study was published in Acta Psychologica, the paper can be found here. Here are the study highlights:

“• We investigate the effects of resistance exercise on emotional episodic memory.
• We measure physiological state with heart rate, blood pressure, and alpha amylase.
• We use a knee extension/flexion task for resistance exercise.
• We find that resistance exercise during consolidation can benefit memory.
•We find effects of valence based on the physiological response to the exercise.”

From the discussion section:

“There are many potential therapeutic benefits of resistance exercise, both physical and cognitive, like the episodic memory benefit we have shown here. Unlike moderate long-term aerobic exercise, single bouts of resistance exercise are easy for a wide range of people with variable levels of physical ability to perform. We are not suggesting that single bouts of resistance exercise can replace the obvious health and cognitive benefits incurred from long-term aerobic interventions. Indeed, future research should examine the potential benefits of long-term resistance exercise interventions on the kinds of memory tasks used in the present study in order to determine the duration of these benefits and whether they may even delay cognitive decline in older adults and neurological patients.”


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