Resistance Training Boosts Memory

How often do you set your car keys or other important items down, only to wonder several minutes later what you did with them? Once a month? Once a day? New research suggests that one way to combat memory-related issues such as this is to engage in resistance training exercises. The best part is, you can start to experience results after just one session.

In a study published in Acta Psychologica, researchers set out to find what effect, if any, strength training exercise has on a person’s short term memory. So, they asked a group of participants to look at images (some positive, some neutral, and some negative) before doing just one exercise—a one-leg knee extension/flexion resistance training movement.

Two days later, they asked each person to look at another group of images to see which ones they could recall viewing before. They also studied the individual’s physiological response to the exercise by looking at some specific hormones, their heart rate, and blood pressure.

Researchers found that the subjects that did the knee extension/flexion exercise “had higher overall recognition accuracy than the group that did not exercise,” and that was after only one session. Imagine how great your memory could become if you engaged in resistance or strength training on a regular basis!

If you’re new to resistance training, then you may benefit from hiring a personal trainer to create a workout for your specific fitness level and goals. Keeping proper form and executing the exercises correctly is key to getting fit without injuring yourself and a trainer can teach you what you need to know to make that happen.

Ultimately, you want to make sure you perform the movements in a slow and controlled fashion. Additionally, don’t work the same muscle group two days in a row as it needs 24-48 hours to heal after a good workout.

Aerobic exercise has also been linked to better memory recall, making a well-rounded workout plan as important to your mental health as it is to your physical conditioning. Include both, and regular chiropractic visits, in your life and you’ll be in good shape. Inside and out.

If you would like to optimize your health, visit our Florham Park office or give us a call at (

Weinberg L, Hasni A, Shinohara M, Duarte A. A single bout of resistance exercise can enhance episodic memory performance. Acta Psychologica 2014;153:13-9.