A new Japanese study suggests that even a little bit of light exercise may immediately improve an individual’s memory. Using a small study of 36 healthy young adults, researchers found that only 10 minutes of relaxed stationary bike cycling improved recall during memory testing immediately afterward.
Brain scans on half of the participants found that short bouts of mild exercise triggered an instant increase in communication between the hippocampus and cortical brain regions. Both areas of the brain are key to memory processing. Participants who engaged in short bouts of light exercise experienced a “rapid enhancement” in their ability to accurately recall information.
These findings were presented at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on September 24, 2018.