Keeping active found to prevent specific memory decline in older adults

February 23, 2022
Keeping active found to prevent specific memory decline in older adults

Psychologists from the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) have found regular exercise maintains one’s ability to recall past events well into adulthood, illustrating once more the benefits of exercise on cognitive function. The new study focused on aerobic exercise and its impact on episodic memory specifically

Episodic memory refers to our ability to recollect details of a personal experience, such as when and where it took place – it is one of the types of memory most sensitive to age-related decline.

“I usually like to talk about the first time you got behind the wheel of a car,” said Pitt postgraduate psychology student Sarah Aghjayan. “So you might remember where you were, how old you were, who was in the passenger seat explaining things to you, that feeling of excitement.”

An analysis into the effects of exercise highlighted that regular aerobic exercise most positively influenced episodic memory in people over 55 without dementia. The study sample included 3,000 participants.

The analysis also revealed people of a certain age bracket – age 55 to 68 years compared to 69 to 85 years – benefitted the most from regular physical activity, indicating that earlier exercise habits can better retain episodic memory as we age.

“Everyone always asks, ‘How much should I be exercising? What’s the bare minimum to see improvement?’” said Aghjayan. “From our study, it seems like exercising about three times a week for at least four months is how much you need to reap the benefits in episodic memory.”

Category: Features, Wellness and Complementary Therapies

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