Those who are less fit have a harder time retaining information, research says.

“The findings show that lower-fit individuals lose more memory across time,” said Kimberly Fenn, an assistant professor of psychology at Michigan State University.

To prove their point, the researchers tested 75 college students during a two-day period.

Participants studied related word pairs such as “camp” and “trail”.

The next day, they were tested on the word pairs to evaluate long-term memory retention.

Long-term memory is anything remembered more than about 30 seconds ago.

Aerobic fitness was gauged by oxygen consumption derived from a treadmill test and factored with the participants’ weight, percent body fat, age and sex.

“A surprising number of the college students were significantly out of shape and did much worse at retaining information than those who were extremely fit,” Fenn noted.

The study has appears online in the journal Cognitive, Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience.


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