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Physical Activity Prevents Memory Decline in Seniors


A study from the University of Pittsburgh has shown that exercise prevents the deterioration of episodic memory.

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"Researchers have analyzed 1,279 studies, of which 36 have met the specific criteria on this subject and, subsequently, have confirmed that exercise benefited the memory of older people" according to the Infasalus portal.


That study found that the impact of physical activity on memory was greater in study participants aged 55 to 68, compared with those aged 69 to 85. The effects were also greater in those who had not experienced any cognitive decline . This suggests that intervening as soon as possible, at the prevention stage, is better.


What is episodic memory?

Episodic memory belongs to declarative memory. It is one that is responsible for storing and retrieving memories of our lives. That is, they are the memories of "episodes" of relevant and memorable experiences that we have experienced.


According to experts, episodic memory is probably the most vulnerable to cognitive decline. It develops during childhood, reaches its peak in adulthood, and is progressively lost during aging, although this is not necessarily the case.


This type of memory would benefit from exercise and would allow older adults to improve their ability to store and retrieve memories, giving them the chance to have interesting conversations, stories to share, and moments to remember with joy.


The positive impact of exercise on memory


According to the University of Pittsburgh study, the periodicity of the exercises should be at least three times a week for four months. This would be what is needed to obtain benefits in episodic memory.


Regarding the type of exercise, the recommendation is to perform a combination of strength activities, cardiovascular and aerobic exercises.


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