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Did You Know Exercise Helps Us Learn?

Researchers have found exercise increases biochemicals in the body and brain that facilitate learning.
Researchers have found exercise increases biochemicals in the body and brain that facilitate learning. Photo Credit: Mark Turner Flickr

Scientists have found exercise increases biochemicals in the body and brain that allow for more effective learning, but have not yet figured out the optimal time to exercise after learning has taken place, according to The New York Times.

Researchers in the Netherlands and Scotland recently published a study in which they observed 72 healthy men and women, asking each to undergo 40 minutes of spatial learning and visual testing, according to The New York Times.

The subjects were asked to remember the locations of pictures shown to them on a computer screen and to watch a number of nature documentaries, said The New York Times, which reported half of the subjects then were asked to immediately ride a bicycle for 35 minutes while the other half were asked to do the same exercise four hours later.

When asked two days later to return to the lab to complete the same testing, those people who previously engaged in the physical activity four hours after looking at the pictures on the computer performed better when asked to recreate the picture locations, according to The New York Times, which reported rodents, in contrast, performed better when exercise took place immediately after learning.

Researchers hope future studies will clarify exactly when exercise should take place in order to maximize learning, according to The New York Times.

Click here to read the full report from The New York Times .

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