Riding for 15 minutes can improve your memory.
We all know that cycling is good for our health. New science shows that it is also good for your brain! Recently, researchers at the University of Geneva tested the effect of cycling on memory.
After a violent ride, the pleasure you feel is caused by a molecule called an endocannabinoid. They are produced during physical activity and then flow to the brain, where they trigger those good feelings. In theory, they also bind to receptors in the main brain structures for memory processing.
Intense riding is more effective than gentle riding
The researchers asked 15 healthy young men to perform memory tests in three different scenarios. One is after 30 minutes of moderate cycling, the other is after 15 minutes of high-intensity cycling, the heart rate reaches 80% of the maximum heart rate, and the last is after a period of rest. The result is clear: Participants who ride hard for 15 minutes perform best on a memory test.
The researchers also did blood tests to measure the levels of endocannabinoids, and used functional MRI to observe changes in brain structure activation. They found that the faster the movement, the more active the memory part of the brain and the brain structure involved in the movement process. Similarly, the higher the intensity of cycling, the more their endocannabinoid levels will increase.
Researcher Blanca Marin Bosch said: "These molecules are related to synaptic plasticity. Synaptic plasticity is the way neurons connect to each other, so they may act on long-term enhancement, which is the best way to consolidate memory. Mechanisms."
Cycling can improve learning ability
The research team previously found that moderate-intensity cycling exercises are better for associative memory. Therefore, it seems that not all forms of memory use the same brain mechanisms, and not all intensities of cycling have the same effect. But one thing is clear: in all cases, physical exercise improves memory better than sitting for a long time. Researchers say these findings should be used to develop new strategies to improve or preserve memory.