The beneficial effects of physical activities such as running, jogging on physical health have been known for a long time. It has now been found by neuroscientists from Germany that running can improve the mental health status as well by a boost of memory.
The study participants had to complete a minimum of 30- minute jogging sessions per week followed by which they had to take up progressively difficult tests. The researchers examined the mental abilities of joggers for several weeks in and established that there was an enhancement in both their power of concentration and visual memory.
There was a substantial improvement in the jogger's ability to recollect images and complete visual tasks. A slight improvement was also noted in their memory function related to numbers.
In order to prove the observed results with supportive evidence, the team was further split up into two, amongst which one group continued to jog throughout the study period while the other group discontinued their regime. The latter group members displayed a marked reduction in the accuracy of their responses as expected.
"What changed was the number of mistakes. The runners who had taken the six-week jogging course made fewer mistakes. They could complete the tests much more precisely than the non-runners could, " said Ralf Reinhardt, one of the senior researchers.
The researchers further intend to explore the reason behind the observation in the future. It is believed that activation of the hippocampus that plays a major role in the memory function could serve to explain why joggers are smarter. Jogging is believed to accelerate the cell renewal process in the hippocampus while protecting the existing ones as well.