Yes, Fifi, jump into that water and swim! It will help you remember where you buried your bone!
According to a recent study at the University of British Columbia on humans and animals (not poodles), exercise helps to boost memory.
The human participants were women between the ages of 70 and 80 years of age. All of them suffered from mild cognitive impairment, which is basically a “befuddled” sense of thinking that can be a precursor to dementia. Seniors with cognitive impairment have a much higher rate of Alzheimer’s than those of the same age who have better memories.
The study included both aerobic and weight training, which involves the use of hand weights. Some of the women lifted weights twice a week; others walked briskly. A third control group did neither, and instead toned and stretched.
At the end of 6 months, the toners and stretchers showed no memory improvement. In fact, they suffered further cognitive decline from when they started the study.
However, both groups of exercisers, the walkers and the weight trainers, showed improved scores on both verbal and spacial memory tests. Verbal memory is the ability to remember a word, while spacial memory is the ability to remember where you put something.
Different parts of the brain seem to be affected by the form of exercise done. While both groups scored similar increases in spacial memory, the walkers scored higher in verbal memory tests than those who lifted weights.
Researchers stressed that the differences in the scores were subtle, yet the increase in brain function for both groups was profound. The bottom line is this: both forms of exercise, either walking or weight training, were found to improve memory despite the participant’s age.
This should be welcome news for people of a certain age who cannot walk as much or as fast as they did when they were younger. Lifting light weights, even while sitting and watching TV, can help to hone the memory. Now all you have to do is remember where you put your weights.