Working Out 4 Hours After Studying May Help Retain Memories

Can't keep your nose off the book? Had to study overnight for finals?

Here's a new routine that may help you improve your studying.

Hit the books. Short rest. Then, hit the gym.

New research suggests that physical exercise can help people retain information if it happens at a right time -- exactly a few hours after you feed your brain with information, while new memories are getting stabilized in your brain.

The study's authors, including researchers from Scotland's University of Edinburgh and the Netherlands' Radboud University, divided 72 people into groups and had them all complete the memory task. One group of participants were asked to exercise on spinning bikes for half an hour, while another group were asked to wait for hours and then exercise. The third group weren't asked to exercise at all.

Two days later, the experiment has proven that the people who waited four hours and then exercised performed about 10 percent better than people in the other groups.

Recent studies also have shown that physical exercise cause sharp increase in the release of certain neurotransmitters that are crucial to the consolidation of memories. This may be the reason why exercising helped people in their study to retain information.

While the study was already proven to be effective, there is still no evidence for the initial time or the right time for the physical exercise to be executed for better memory retention. Although the study tested the effects of exercise after four-hour delay, it may be possible that waiting for two hours or six hours to exercise could have a better or worse effect on memory.

The research appeared Thursday at the journal Current Biology.

Source: The Huffington Post

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