Everyone knows that exercise is good for our bodies, but did you know it’s also great for your brain? Research shows that exercise can improve memory and critical thinking skills. We also know that brain training can be beneficial to keeping our minds sharp as we age.
But what happens if we do both? Well, it gets pretty exciting!
Our Complex Brains
Most of us don’t understand the complexity of the brain. For example, few people know that memories come in different types and are created and stored in the brain’s hippocampus. Past studies show that exercise prompts the creation of new brain cells in the hippocampus, providing the raw materials for new memories.
Scientists at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, began to wonder if combining brain training with exercise would prompt the creation of neurons that brain training would strengthen.
The researchers studied healthy young college students–a group with presumably good memories–and theorized that if the experimental program resulted in better memories in this group of people, it should also have implications for those with aging memories.
The researchers took baseline reading sof the students and sorted them into three groups. One was the control group which made no changes. One group began exercising three times a week for 20 minutes of interval training. The final group combined the same exercise program with the addition of 20 minutes of brain training before or after their workout session. This experiment lasted six weeks, and then testing was repeated to measure the results.
The group who incorporated exercise into their weekly routine were more physically fit than the control group, and there were improvements in their memory and recall. Memory enhancement was most pronounced among the volunteers whose fitness improved the most, especially if they also participated in brain training. These findings led researchers to believe that enhanced fitness led to stronger memories, with brain training boosting the effect.
Take the Benefits Home
So how can you maximize these findings for yourself? Braintapping, of course! There is growing evidence for the supportive role visualization plays in the mind-body connection. BrainTap is a favorite with those who strive for peak performance in body and mind and offers relaxation and brain fitness by strengthening neural pathways to keep your brain young and sharp.
Our library has several audio programs devoted to increasing your motivation to exercise. Combine these two mental powerhouses to think better, sleep better and perform better daily.
For a free trial of the BrainTap App, click HERE.