Do you find yourself forgetting things that you should remember? Are you wishing that you could somehow improve your memory?
Gretchen Reynolds of the New York Times has a suggestion. In “A Memory Tonic for the Aging Brain,” she reports that physical exercise has a positive effect on memory. The article begins by chronicling what many of us over-50 folk have experienced: memory weakens with age. Yet the news is not all bad:
But there is hope, Dr. Yassa said. “Exercise is one of the things that might directly change this process,” he said. In other experiments, exercise has been found to jump-start neurogenesis, or the creation of new brain cells, especially in the dentate gyrus, he said, potentially improving that area’s health and functioning. . . .
“What I’d say for now is that you can’t go wrong by exercising,” he said. “We don’t know if it can reverse” any damage if you already have memory slips. But there are indications that it might slow or possibly prevent memory deterioration, if you begin exercising early enough — meaning that, among the many benefits of a health club membership, your workout may help you to recall where in the gym parking lot you left your car.
Of course we all know that exercise is good for our bodies. But it may be good for our minds too.