Trying to learn something new? Put down the book for a minute and pick up a dumbbell.
A study published in Acta Psychologica has found that a single, twenty-minute bout of weight lifting is enough to boost someone’s memory. Sixty-six participants were divided into two groups: an active group, and a passive group. The active group performed twenty minutes of weight lifting, while the passive group did not. Both groups then performed a memory test.
The participants met once more forty-eight hours later. During the forty-eight hours, they were not allowed to exercise. They performed the memory test once more, and the group that had lifted weights for twenty-minutes two days prior did much better.
The study comes with some caveats: all the participants were young and very healthy, in that none had any major health problems or even past bone fractures, and also none regularly used any kind of drug, including caffeine. On top of that, a few repeated studies are needed to confirm the data.
But with that said, exercise improves your resilience when faced with stress, increases your pain tolerance, and increases your life. Plus you get sweet guns. Even if you don’t notice an improved memory effect, there isn’t really a downside to start lifting.
Photo courtesy of Eric Astrauskas.