Yes, it is true. A study published in the journal Nature Medicine in 2019 found that a 12-week walking exercise program improved memory recollection in older adults with normal cognitive function and those with mild cognitive impairment. The study participants who walked for 30 minutes, three times per week, showed significant improvements in their ability to recall words and faces, compared to those who did not walk. The researchers believe that the exercise may have helped to improve blood flow to the brain, which is essential for memory function.
Here are some other studies that have found a link between exercise and memory:
- A study published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine in 2014 found that older adults who engaged in moderate-intensity exercise for at least 150 minutes per week had a 30% lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease over a 10-year period.
- A study published in the journal Neurology in 2015 found that older adults who participated in a 12-week walking program showed significant improvements in their verbal fluency, which is a measure of cognitive function.
- A study published in the journal PLOS One in 2016 found that older adults who engaged in aerobic exercise for 30 minutes, three times per week, for 12 weeks showed significant improvements in their episodic memory, which is the ability to remember specific events.
Overall, the evidence suggests that exercise can be an effective way to improve memory in older adults. If you are concerned about your memory, talk to your doctor about whether exercise could be a helpful addition to your treatment plan.