Based on their findings, the team concluded that not only does regular exercise help support episodic memory over time, but aerobic exercise seems to be best—and they found the greatest benefits in those 55 and up.
Episodic memories are memories of specific experiences that include things like time and location, such as driving a car for the first time, walking the stage at graduation, or your most recent birthday. And according to the study authors, episodic memory is one of the earliest memory systems to decline as we get older.
“From our study, it seems like exercising about three times a week for at least four months is how much you need to reap the benefits in episodic memory,” Aghjayan explains, adding, “We found that there were greater improvements in memory among those who are age 55 to 68 years compared to those who are 69 to 85 years old—so intervening earlier is better.”
And if you’re looking for other habits to help support memory as you age, check out our roundup of memory-supporting supplements.