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New research from the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas has found that aerobic activity like running, biking or cardio can help boost your memory. The study also found that cognitive training, or mental exercises, can help improve executive brain function (the ability to plan, prioritize, problem solve and synthesize information) while also helping to counteract dementia and other age-related processes in the brain.
See alsoMemory-Enhancing Smoothie.
Lead researcher Sandra Bond Chapman, PhD, notes that the exercise group showed increases in memory that were not seen in the cognitive training group, particularly in the brain’s primary memory center, the hippocampus. However, the improvements in the cognitive training group were more widespread across major brain regions, especially the frontal regions, which are associated with higher-order cognition.
Since exercise and cognitive training produce distinctly different brain benefits, Chapman recommends a multifaceted approach that includes both reasoning challenges and aerobic exercise.