One Episode of Weight Training Can Enhance Memory Performance A Study Finds
Title: A single bout of resistance exercise can enhance episodic memory performance
Author: Weinberg et al
Journal: Acta Psychologia
Objective: To investigate whether a single bout of resistance exercise performed during consolidation can produce episodic memory benefits 48 h later
Exercise is a quote on quote medical treatment that continues to be heavily investigated for it’s health benefits. Many of these benefits are very well known.
- Weight loss/ control
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol)
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Some types of cancer
- Increase happiness
- Reduce stress
- Boost energy level
- Improve sleep
Research typically focuses on either aerobic or resistance exercise over a period of time; for example 6 week or 12 week programs or something along those lines. What isn’t as well known is if one single episode can improve some of these variables, including memory. The authors of this study wanted to know a single resistance-based workout could improve memory consolidation 48 hours later.
There were 46 participants, half exercised and half did not.
They used one leg knee extension and flexion resistance exercises.
They measured salivary alpha amylase, heart rate, and blood pressure to assess physiologic response to exercise.
To test episodic memory, they used a remember-know paradigm with positive, negative and neutral images as stimuli.
They then tested memory 48 hours later.
The group that exercised had a higher overall image recognition accuracy than the group that did not exercise.
The difference was most pronounced on emotional items, compared to neutral images.
These improvements were modified by the individuals physiologic response to exercise. Individuals with higher amylase, HR and blood pressure had decreased recollection of neutral items compared to individuals with more moderate physiologic responses.
The results suggest that a single bout of resistance exercise can enhance memory consolidation.
This is true for both emotional and neutral item recall, however the effect is modified by degree of physiologic response.