Regular physical activity found to boost memory in older adults
03/08/2023 // Zoey Sky // Views

Regardless of your age, regular physical activity can help maintain your overall health. According to a study, exercising three times every week for at least four months can also help prevent the decline of a certain kind of memory among the elderly.

Researchers who conducted the study reported that engaging in regular physical activity can protect episodic memory or the type of memory that recalls events that have happened to you in the past. The greatest benefits were observed in people aged 55 to 68 years.

The study was published in the journal Communications Medicine.

Scientists led by psychologists from the University of Pittsburgh analyzed the data from 3,000 patients across 36 studies to try and find out when in someone's lifetime "exercise is most beneficial, who benefits the most and what is the optimum amount."

Sarah Aghjayan, the study's lead author, explained that people often ask how much they should be exercising. People also often wonder what is the "bare minimum to see improvement."

According to the study results, exercising for at least three times a week for at least four months can offer benefits for your episodic memory.

This type of memory is often the first to deteriorate with age. Episodic memory is the type of memory that recalls things like the first time you drove a car.

Earlier studies looking for a connection between exercise and memory were unable to determine one so the researchers narrowed their criteria by studying data from certain groups and age ranges. They also focused on episodic memory. (Related: Having a healthy, active lifestyle found to lower the risk of developing Alzheimer's.)


Aghjayan added that after combining and merging their data, they were able to examine at least 3,000 participants. Each individual study is crucial because they all contribute to science "in a meaningful way."

The researchers discovered that there were more significant improvements in memory among patients aged 55 to 68 years compared to those who are 69 to 85 years old, highlighting the importance of intervening earlier.

Aghjayan advised the elderly to start simple, such as by investing in a comfortable and sturdy pair of walking shoes to stay active and support their overall health and episodic memory.

Tips to help you stay active as you age

As you continue to age, you start to lose muscle and bone mass. Aging is also linked to problems in your bones, joints and muscles.

Exercising regularly can help maintain your overall health because it can help slow the loss of muscle mass, promote stronger bones and help reduce joint and muscle pain.

If you are older than 50 and want to stay healthy as you age, stay active and try to incorporate more exercise into your daily routine.

Here are some tips to help you stay active as you age:

If you are not physically active, start slow with frequent exercise sessions. You can gradually increase your activity as your body adapts to your new routine.

If you experience severe pain or swelling that does not go away, stop exercising and get in touch with your doctor.

If you think exercise is a chore, motivate yourself by taking part in activities that you enjoy doing. This will make it easier to incorporate these activities into your daily schedule.

If you are not physically fit, you don't have to tire yourself out with lengthy, strenuous activities to stay healthy. You can stick to 30 minutes of moderate physical activity to reap health benefits.

Even low-intensity activity is better than not exercising at all. Start with beginner-friendly activities like doing yard work, going for a brisk walk or washing your car.

If you have a condition that causes pain such as arthritis, take a break from strenuous exercise when you are experiencing acute pain. Keep in mind that prolonged rest and inactivity will delay your recovery.

Any form of physical activity will help strengthen your joints and the surrounding muscles and it can help relieve stiffness and reduce pain.

If one form of exercise causes you pain, try another exercise that focuses on different muscle groups. If it hurts too much to walk or exercise on firm surfaces, try swimming or walking in a pool until your pain is low enough to resume your regular activities.

Visit for more tips on healthy aging.

Watch the video below to know more about the link between exercise and memory.

This video is from the Holistic Herbalist channel on

More related stories:

Study: Strength training for at least 30 to 60 minutes a week helps boost longevity.

Walking for 5 minutes every half hour can help you stay healthy if you sit all day, reveals study.

Study: People who exercise more tend to develop less severe COVID-19 symptoms.

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