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Study Shows Weight-Lifting Improves Memory

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Good news: Research shows that in the time it takes to watch the latest episode of The Mindy Project, you can do some serious good for your body—and your memory.

It turns out just 20 minutes of resistance exercise can enhance episodic memory performance (that’s long-term memory for previous events), according to a new study from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

The researchers had participants look at a series of 90 photos on a computer screen, and then performed leg extensions at a resistance exercise machine. Forty-eight hours later, the group that exercised remembered about 60 percent of the photos, compared to 50 percent of those who didn’t exercise.

RELATED: The Research-Approved 20-Minute Tabata Workout

While previous studies have demonstrated the link between exercise and memory, this study had participants lift weights just once two days before testing them, indicating “that people don’t have to dedicate large amounts of time to give their brain a boost,” said lead author Lisa Weinberg, in the university’s press release.

Although the study used weight exercises, Weinberg says that bodyweight exercises such as squats or knee bends would likely produce the same memory-boosting benefits.

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