Here at our Center City Wellness Center we worry that we may bore you. We worry that we talk too much about the benefits of exercising.

But a new study conducted at University of California Irvine and University of Tsukuba surprised us. Gretchen Reynolds summarized it in The New York Times.

Why? Well, our Center City Wellness Center team believed that exercise benefits occur only by exercising regularly. And strenuously. 

This study suggests that even short mild exercise benefits for your brain functions. And by meaningful amounts.

The researchers recruited university students. The students then sat on an exercise bike for 10 minutes.

After this they took a complicated memory test where one has to compare similar objects.

Then the students got back on the bikes and pedaled at a slow pace. Their heart rates stayed near their resting rate.

The researchers then retested them. The students did much better at identifying the objects. And the more difficult the comparison – say of two almost identical trees – the better they did.

And if you’ve got questions or want help with a mild exercise program, just contact us.

Just 10 minutes of the mildest exercise improved the tested’s memory.

The students then got retested. This time the researchers did M.R.I. scans.

Two interesting things happened:

The hippocampus lit up with activity. Episodic memory – our memories of events, things and emotions – are functions of the hippocampus. More activity helps keep the brain working effectively.

The hippocampus activity synchronized with the parts of the brain associated with learning. The separate areas were better connected which results in better activation of your memory.

This amazes everyone at our Center City Wellness Center.

We can improve our brain function meaningfully with just a bit of exercise.

Of course, we still recognize the proven benefits of regular exercise. But now there’s no excuse to skip even the mildest exercise.

As the New York Times suggested: just take the dog for a short walk.

And if you have questions, just contact us.