If you’re struggling to commit your next work presentation to memory, get moving. ‘There are some interesting studies showing that if you want to learn something, such as a new language, you should listen to it while cycling or walking, because it increases memory retention, although the mechanism of how this works isn’t clear,’ explains Martynoga.
He cites studies by German researchers, which monitored people walking on treadmills and cycling on stationary bikes while learning foreignlanguage vocabulary. Results showed that light to moderate physical activity helped people recall new words.
LIGHT TO MODERATE TREADMILL WALKING AND STATIONARY CYCLING Photo Gallery
More generally, improving your aerobic fitness by getting fitter over a course of weeks of regular aerobic exercise has been shown in children, adults and older adults to result in a measurable increase in the size of a part of the brain called the hippocampus – a structure that’s really important in many aspects of forming and recalling memories. ‘Brain scans actually show this part of the brain getting bigger, which reinforces the idea that exercise can be a very powerful way to improve aspects of memory,’ says Martynoga.