Movement for Memory

You’ve studied hard, you’ve thought about possible answers, you’ve slept well and eaten a good breakfast so you are prepared, but is there anything else you can do before a test to give you an increased chance of success? We both love exercise and enjoy being active, therefore we wanted our experiment to revolve around the concept of the benefits of exercising. We have been told numerous times by both teachers and our parents to go outside and run around before an exam, so we wanted to see if exercising for a short period of time before a test does improve memory. In our background research we discovered that there are many physiological and physical benefits of exercise. Exercise can improve the body’s response to insulin, protect the body from inflammation, improve balance and strength, reduce the risk of certain cancers, enhance digestive functions, improve cognitive function and improve circulation. When you exercise, you get more blood pumping to your brain, which delivers oxygen and new blood cells to your brain. This improves the health of your brain, which in turn, improves memory. Aerobic exercises boost the size of your hippocampus which is the part of your brain that affects verbal memory and learning, a vital skill in modern-day society. Exercising to improve memory is vital because every 4 seconds one new person is diagnosed with dementia. More than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, and the number is expected to triple by 2050. We also discovered that bodyweight exercises such as lunges, and squats, interval training, and walking are some of the best types of exercise thus when designing our experiment we decided it was important to include some of these. In our experiment, students from grades 6, 7, and 8 did the following exercises, 10 lunges, 15 squats, 10 glute bridges, and a 20-second plank repeatedly for 3,5,and 7 minutes. They then took a series of memory tests after each period of exercise. After careful examination of our graphs, we realised that depending on gender and age, results did vary though further research and testing would be needed to fully support our answer.

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