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Benefits of Exercise on Learning and Memory

The other day, I was working out at the gym on my college campus and felt an urge to read my e-textbook while on the elliptical. I felt energized and felt like I was able to retain the information well. Ultimately, I have adopted the practice of cardio and reading at the same time. Therefore, I decided to do more research to learn more about the benefits of exercise on learning and memory.

Benefits of Exercise on Learning and Memory

Harvard Health Publishing, referenced a study from the University of British Columbia, which found that cardio increases the size of the hippocampus. This is the area of the brain involved in verbal memory and learning. Exercise indirectly impacts memory and learning, because it improves people’s mood, sleep patterns, and stress levels. All of these have a direct impact on the brain.

According to an article from Western Governors University, Dr. John J. Ratey, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, wrote a book titled, “Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain.” In this book, Ratey talks about the impact of exercise on the brain and how it boosts learning on three levels. Exercise improves alertness, attention, and motivation and impacts the brain on the cellular level as well. Ultimately, he found, that working out not only helps with memory but also prepares the brain prior to learning.

Sleep Also Influences the Brain

DREAMit Sleep SprayAdequate sleep also impacts learning and memory. If you struggle to get 7 hours or more of sleep each night, DREAMit is your solution! According to an article from the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, sleep plays an important role in memory, both before and after learning something. Many researchers also agree that the different sleep stages play a role in the different types of memory.