With the warmer weather comes a greater temptation to be outside and postpone going over EPPP study materials. Though the sunshine can be distracting, it can also motivate you to get exercising which in turn can sharpen your cognitive function and therefore be beneficial to studying.
An earlier post touched on how exercise affects our ability to focus. We went into how exercise should not be sacrificed for more study time but should, rather, be included into your study schedule. As it turns out, exercise not only keeps you focused but also plays an important role in storing information into long term memory.
A study published in Current Biology, was summarized and expanded upon by psychologist Dr. Jeremy Dean in PsyBlog in a post called Exercise 4 Hours After Learning Boosts Long Term Memory. The study suggests that exercising at specific intervals in regards to a block of studying could boost long term memory. The study divided people into three groups. Each group exercised and was then tested on their ability to recall an image and location association. Results of the study showed that for optimal retention of information, it is best to exercise four hours after studying. Dr. Dean summarizes:
“It was those who had exercised four hours after learning who displayed the best recall.
In addition, brain scans revealed that exercise lead to more precise representations of memories in the hippocampus.”
Despite the four hour interval showing the best results of retention, researchers have have yet to discover the reason why the four hour interval was best. To best retain your EPPP study materials this could mean being mindful of when you include exercise into your study schedule.
Exercise can also boost overall memory function through your lifetime. This is good news for retaining what you learn from EPPP study materials and could possibly be even better news for your psychology career. Psychology Today, in an article penned by Christopher Bergland called Physical Activity Improves Cognitive Function looks into the long-term results of exercise.
“Specifically, the more fit participants had been as young adults, the better they could correctly state ink cool with a mismatched word in the classic Stroop Test i.e. for the word ‘yellow’ written in green ink, the correct answer was green.”
The author also summarizes a study done on middle aged people.
“[…] participants who engaged in physical activity at least twice a week had lower risk of dementia than those who were less active. The research also showed that it’s never too late to start. Becoming more physically active after midlife was shown to lower dementia risk.”
In the near future, intentionally incorporating exercise into your study schedule could pay off by you recalling more when it comes to EPPP test day. Looking ahead, creating a lifestyle of exercise in conjunction with good study habits could help you stay sharp throughout your psychology career.