Walking and Improved Memory

Ever thought about holding a walking meeting at work? Instead of getting together in a drab meeting room, try conducting your meeting on-the-go. Plan a walk down the street or in a nearby park.

According to research published in the European Journal of Developmental Psychology, there is a connection between walking and improved memory, specifically working (or short-term) memory in [Read more...]

Does Dancing Improve Memory?

Does dancing improve memory? If you’re looking for a fun-filled way to improve your memory, dancing may be the answer. Richard Powers, an instructor at Stanford University’s Dance Division, summarizes some research that looked at the effect of various types of physical activity on mental functioning. Guess which [Read more...]

Visual Memory Research

Interesting visual memory research with Duke University varsity soccer players used strobe glasses to find out whether the strobes have an effect on short-term memory retention. Apparently, [Read more...]

Best Exercises to Improve Memory Skills

What are the best exercises to improve memory skills? Should you be jogging, stretching, cycling, walking, swimming, or doing some other activity?  A recent study by researcher Kirsten Hotting, PhD, a lecturer in psychology at the University of Hamburg, Germany, indicates that [Read more...]

Quick Technique for Improving Memory

What could be better than a walk in the park as a quick technique for improving memory? According to the results of a recent study by Dr. Marc Berman, at the Baycrest Rotman Research Institute, walking in the park affects memory as well as depression and mood. Especially significant seems to be that the natural environment of a park is better for your memory than a walk in the city. [Read more...]

Exercise: Good for Your Brain

Is exercise good for your brain? By now, everyone knows that exercise is good for our bodies — and you probably also know that it increases circulation to the brain. But did you also know that specific types of exercise can enhance memory? A recent study at the University of British Columbia, showed that weight lifting, also known as resistance training, improved mental functioning in cases where aerobics did not.

Exercise: Good for Your Brain

exercise: good for your brain

exercise: good for your brain

Most studies have looked at aerobic training, but this study compares both aerobic and strength training,” explained study co-author Teresa Liu-Ambrose, an assistant professor in the department of physical therapy at the University of British Columbia. “And among people who don’t yet have dementia but are already at a high risk in terms of mild memory and executive function impairment, our study shows that strength training, but not aerobics training, does have benefits for cognition.”

Previously, the study team found that a year of twice-weekly resistance (strength) classes seemed to boost overall cognitive capacity among mentally healthy elderly women.

This time, the team focused on women between 70 and 80 years old who had complained of memory difficulties and were deemed to have “probable” mild cognitive impairment.

For six months, the women engaged in 60-minute classes twice a week. One-third were randomly assigned to a strength-training program that included lifting weights; one-third walked outdoors in an aerobics program; and one-third took basic balance and toning classes.

Seventy-seven women completed the program, which included standard verbal and visual memory tests, and decision-making and problem-solving tasks. Almost one-third underwent functional MRI at the start and end of the study to look for brain activity changes.

After 6 months, compared to those in the balance/tone classes, the strength-training group was found to have experienced “significant” cognitive improvement.

The strength-training group also experienced activity changes in three specific parts of the brain’s cortex associated with cognitive behavior, the researchers found. These changes were not seen among the balance/tone group.

As for the aerobics group, while significant physical improvements were cited relative to the balance/tone group, this group did not appear to accrue the same mental benefits as the strength-training group.

You can read the entire article here.

So it appears that varying your exercise routine has multiple benefits — exercise, good for your brain and for your body.

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Nelson Dellis: Memory Techniques

Here are some recommendations from two-time USA Memory Champion, Nelson Dellis. Memory techniques that are a integral part of his regimen focus on regular exercise. You don’t have to be an amateur mountain climber as he is. Even walking can make a difference.

Nelson Dellis: Memory Techniques

Nelson Dellis memory techniques include walking

Nelson Dellis memory techniques include walking

  1. Stay balanced. Practice balance using a balance board or ball. Start with both feet on and flex your core to remain centered. Once you’ve mastered two feet, pick one foot up at a time.
  2. Take a walk. Walking is a gentle, low-impact exercise that most everyone can do. Start your routine by making small goals, and grow them each week. For example, walk around the block on week one, and lengthen your power stroll by ten blocks the second week.
  3. Get the right gear. Wear shoes that fit well to ensure you’ll steer clear from blisters! The right shoes will help you stay on track.

You can read more of his recommendations here.

You may not want to compete in memory championships like Nelson Dellis. Memory techniques will, however, make you a champion in every day life.

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Quarterback Uses Memory Techniques

former quarterback uses memory techniques

former quarterback uses memory techniques

Mark Rypien, a former quarterback uses memory techniques to help him deal with his memory loss.

Rypien, who played football for the Washington Redskins, wants to make the sport safer for the players. Football players along with other athletes who play sports that involve crashing bodies together often suffer from concussions. These concussions in turn cause memory loss.

Quarterback Uses Memory Techniques

During his career Rypien knew about massive concussions, but not about the many small ones that he just shook off. They had a cumulative effect and now he frequently finds himself having to write things down or record conversations.

That lack of awareness of the risks he faced simply by shaking his head clear after “getting his bell rung” and the long-term effects Rypien has experienced are the reasons he agreed to become the lead plaintiff in a 126-player class-action lawsuitagainst the NFL.

In the suit, filed March 23, Rypien and fellow players contend that the NFL failed to educate them for decades on the risks associated with suffering repetitive tramatic brain injuries and concussions, and instead ignored and concealed the information. Fourteen other former Redskins are part of the lawsuit.

“Our thing is that we make the game safer. Not change the game, but players are faster and stronger, and if we can do certain things to protect [against] head trauma, why not implement those and put them in place?” Rypien said. “And for those that have received that, in this litigation, why not look into making their quality of life better?”

You can read the entire Washington Post article here.

There’s no doubt that more attention should be paid to the health of sports players. Memory loss is a very serious long term and in many cases, unforeseen, side effect of being injured.

What do you think about this article about the quarterback who uses memory techniques? Use the comment section.