How Exercise Can Help You Master New Skills, by Gretchen Reynolds at the NYTimes.com.
Reynolds’ article discusses the details of a study conducted on humans using exercise and a “squiggle test” to better understand “motor memory” in the brain. The study suggests that regular “exercise appears to improve the brain’s general ability to remember” and, if you want to remember a skill or task you’ve recently learned, exercising immediately after mastery is key.
Thinking on this news it occurs to me . . . in situations of mass-learning, I have always gravitated toward going for an intense run immediately afterward. Most recently, after completing a two-hour physiology exam I came home, jumped on the treadmill, and ran faster than I had ever run up to that point. In my situation, the stress, anxiety, and uncomfortable feelings caused by the long-term sitting is more likely the reason for my need to run, but I do not recall whether it helped my memory of the ideas learned. Nonetheless, many women have commented over the years that long distance running does help workout problems or situations playing on the mind.
What experiences have you had with exercise and occurrences of increased memory? Please share them in the comment section below.