Remember…Timing is Everything!


There is a mind and body connection. Exercise benefits your brain — particularly learning and memory — as much as it benefits your biceps. Science has proven it, time and again. But when it comes to retaining new information, just working out might not cut it. Research suggests that timing is important, too. So what’s the “sweet spot”? To improve your odds of remembering new information, a new study suggests hitting the gym 4 hours after learning the new info. A study published in Current Biology in July found that exercise improved recall when done 4 hours after learning information, but not immediately after. Brain imaging also revealed sharper activity patterns in the hippocampus, a region crucial for forming and storing memories, among those who exercised four hours after learning. Although the study authors aren’t sure how putting off exercise offers an edge, according to study author, Guillén Fernández, a professor of cognitive neuroscience at Radboud University in the Netherlands, says “We do know that exercise itself boosts the cascade of neurotransmitters important in memory retention. The delay might allow more time for that cascade to take place.”