Does exercise improve memory and mental capacity?

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That'sGreat
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Got A levels coming up in May and have decided to challenge myself to go to the gym 6 days a week, split into 3 cardio with core and 3 solely strength training. Will this have a positive impact on my ability to memorise things and understand concepts etc., or is the 'healthy body, healthy mind' thing just an load of crap?
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becci_davis
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Depends how often you go already. 6 times a week is a bit excessive if you don’t go at all now (start with twice a week if that’s the case). It’s not gonna dramatically improve your memory and if it’s affecting how much you revise it’s gonna not help at all but keeping healthy does help get the blood pumping and not feel so lethargic all the time
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nzy
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I mean there's plenty of research to support a relationship between exercise and cognitive performance (mostly the recall of information) that you can find on google. Heisz et al. is the first that comes up, but that and most studies are with people who are relatively inactive to begin with, so if you already play sports or go to the gym, upping your schedule to 6 times a week might not be worthwhile (3 sessions of HIIT a week was sufficient enough for the study to find a difference).

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If you're REALLY committed, that particular study found that a combination of exercise and cognitive training produced the best results. You could use a couple of those 6 days to do some online memory tasks... or something.
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username2393237
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There’s no point setting yourself goals that you won’t stick to. Start with something more manageable.
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username4470000
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The reverse, your wasting brain functions thinking/doing excercise, diet etc... To excercise the mind is a different mental activity
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That'sGreat
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(Original post by YaliaV)
There’s no point setting yourself goals that you won’t stick to. Start with something more manageable.
It is manageable
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becci_davis
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(Original post by That'sGreat)
It is manageable
As someone who’s had a lot of failed fitness journeys, it’s going to completely depend on what you do now. 6 times a week is a lot for anyone but if you already go 4 times it’s not that unreasonable. If you don’t consistently go twice a week, start with that.

Remember every hour you’re at the gym (and all the extra time like going there, getting ready, getting changed after and coming home) is an hour you could be revising so make sure it doesn’t take over your priorities
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TortoiseSheldon
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I have definitely found that exercise is a good way to get rid of any stress whilst I am busy revising, but I think this can be applied to all sorts of hobbies/activities. It is important to have some downtime where you can clear your mind and do something other than revising, whether this is going to the gym, playing music, cooking or anything else. It also splits up heavy revision sessions and I have always found myself being more productive when I have some time away from revision.
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Unistudent77
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(Original post by TortoiseSheldon)
I have definitely found that exercise is a good way to get rid of any stress whilst I am busy revising, but I think this can be applied to all sorts of hobbies/activities. It is important to have some downtime where you can clear your mind and do something other than revising, whether this is going to the gym, playing music, cooking or anything else. It also splits up heavy revision sessions and I have always found myself being more productive when I have some time away from revision.
Consistently solid posting recently on the threads i’ve seen


Exercise can improve concentration in conjunction with mental and physical health etc etc. However it is doubtful there is a measurable impact on cognitive capacity and function
Last edited by Unistudent77; 1 year ago
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luckyvenkat
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Want to boost your mental performance, keep your brain active, and reduce your risk of dementia? Start working out. You already know that exercising helps you build strong muscles, maintain a healthy weight, and ward off disease. ... Here's what experts have to say about how exercise can improve memory.
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