We trivia folk try to keep our catalog of facts stored in the noggin ever-expanding. After all, if we supposedly only use 10% of our brain, surely there’s room enough for extra tidbits that will come in handy on trivia night. And being a resourceful lot, we try to find new and exciting ways to enhance our brainpower, not just for trivia but in general as well. One way to improve memory skills is something you should already be doing every day. Any guesses?
Yup, daily exercise not only keeps the body in shape, but keeps the mind fit as well. We’re not talking complicated resistance training, power lifting, or any other extreme training. Nope, regular aerobic exercise that gets the heart pumping and works up a good sweat can also boost the hippocampus, the area of the brain involved on memory and learning.
The Science People.
According to a recent article in Harvard Health Letter, the benefits of exercise include:
- reduce insulin resistance
- reduce inflammation
- stimulate the release of growth factors, including new brain cells
The Whole Picture.
Exercise can also help memory indirectly by reducing stress and anxiety. Plus, you get a better night’s sleep when you tire your body out during the day. And for those who have tried to pull an all nighter before a big test or meeting, only to find your brain dead the next morning–you guys know what I’m talkin’ about. Sleep=good.
So get exercising! It can be as easy as walking a few hours a week or doing laps in the pool during summertime. A neighborhood bike ride works as well. Anything to get the heart pumping, the brow sweaty and the neurons firing can be just what you need to sharpen the mind (and body) for trivia!