It’s safe to say that most of us don’t have the best study habits and often find our brains going dead. Researchers at the University of British Columbia may have just the answer. By participating in consistent aerobic exercise, one could find that their hippocampus will increase, helping to preserve memory and knowledge. Examples of such exercise could be walking, swimming, hiking, things of that nature. When one actively engages in such exercise the benefits are far ranging. Advantages include reduction of inflammation, insulin resistance, and kicking into gear the health of your brain cells. Along with these, mood and sleep can improve, while anxiety and stress are lessened.
When there is not enough oxygen running through a person’s blood, the ability to concentrate weakens. This is why when one engages in physical activity or exercise, the flow of oxygen will increase and strengthen the brain to have greater control over being able to pay attention. According to recent studies done on humans, doing cardio exercises regularly can actually generate up to 30% of new brain cells in the region of the hippocampus. The result being the greater you can concentrate the more able you can be in preserving your memory. In this same article, they make a point that many people struggle to stay up and study and start to load on much caffeine which makes them be up all night and missing out on a chance to get a proper good night sleep. If you do take the route of fulfilling a solid amount of sleeping the night before an exam or an assignment is due, the brain’s plasticity, or the working together of nerve cells, will contribute in enhancing the chances of remembering what you had studied during the day.
John J. Ratey, Ph.D., a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School, gives credit to what is known as a BDNF (Brain-derived neurotrophic factor). This is a chemical in the brain that when stirred with hormones released from the movement of muscles can help in allowing for stronger cells, improvement of mood, and substantial learning. Furthermore, such a chemical is whats allows information to be retained when new cells are formulating. His views are shared with Charles H. Hillman, Ph.D., an associate professor of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Hillman states, “Exercise improves attention, memory, accuracy, and how quickly you process information, all of which helps you make smarter decisions”.