We all face stress every day, be it from work or family, we are facing a tremendous amount of stress every day. According to the American Psychological Association, stress can lead to a whole host of health problems, and 75 percent of all physician office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints. Feeling stressed after hearing this? Don’t be. There is a cure for keeping you stress-free and also helps improve your memory.
According to an article in ScienceDaily, a study that was published in the Journal of Neurobiology of Learning and Memory finds that running helps reduce chronic stress negative impacts on the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory.
Exercise is a simple and cost-effective way to eliminate the negative impacts on memory of chronic stress,” said study lead author Jeff Edwards, associate professor of physiology and developmental biology at BYU.
How does this all happen? We all know the benefits of running and exercising has on our health, but how does it actually affect our brain?
The Hippocampus which is the learning and memory part of our brain performs the best when the links between the neurons get strengthen over time. While stress has shown to weaken to these links and can affect the memory. On the other hand, when exercise and stress go hand in hand, the links seem to stary normal and not weaken.
For the experiment, over a 4-week timespan, the researchers had two groups of mice, one group did running while another group was sedentary. Half of the mic from each group were then put into stressful conditions, and it resulted in the mice that did running, not only did the neuron links not weaken, they were much stronger.
Furthermore, the study shows that stressed mic who exercise had fewer memory errors in a maze running experiment, compared to the sedentary mice.
This shows that running or exercising, not only allows you to fight off chronic stress, it also improves your memory while probably making you smarter in the process. While running and exercising help with it, there are also other things you can do if you are feeling stressed.
While stress is something unavoidable in our life, what we can do is to exercise more, keep a healthy lifestyle and more importantly, try not to overthink things.