Can’t Think of the Right Word? Here’s Help

In All Health Watch, Alzheimer's and Memory, Big Pharma, Dementia, Nootropics and Brain Support by INH ResearchLeave a Comment

As we get older, most of us suffer from “tip-of-the-tongue syndrome” from time to time.

This is when you can’t think of something… the right word, a fact, or someone’s name.

But you know that you know it. It seems like it is right there. You just can’t quite remember it… It’s so frustrating.

Now, a new study shows there’s a way to reduce these “senior moments.”

Researchers at the University of Birmingham in England gathered two groups of subjects.

One consisted of people in their late 60s or older. The other group was younger people in their early 20s.1

Scientists evaluated the participants for their cardio-respiratory aerobic fitness by having them pedal a stationary bike to exhaustion. Then they measured each person for frequency of tip-of-tongue (TOT) incidents.

The participants sat at a computer while word definitions flashed on the screen. The researchers chose definitions for words that most people don’t use often. This makes them harder for the brain to summon.2

For example, the participants would be shown this definition: “A glass container for holding and serving wine.”

They would then try to recall and say the targeted word. In this case, the correct word is “decanter.”

The researchers also asked the participants to identify photographs of celebrities and politicians.3

A TOT occurrence was defined as when someone could not come up with the answer but would say something like, “I know this word, let me think.”

Aerobic Fitness Cuts Brain Freezes by 28%

Brain function tends to decline as we get older. So the researchers were not surprised when the younger subjects experienced fewer TOT failures than the seniors.

But within the older group, those with high aerobic fitness had 28% fewer TOT incidents than those with low aerobic scores.

Dr. Katrien Segaert is a psychologist at the University of Birmingham. She led the study. “The data show a relationship between aerobic fitness and word-finding abilities in [the] group of healthy older adults,” she said.

The researchers don’t know exactly how being in good aerobic shape helps memory. But they theorize that if you have better aerobic fitness, you will have less “grey matter atrophy” in the cerebellum area of the brain as you age. The cerebellum controls verbal fluency, writing skills, and language memory.

“Fitness has widespread effects on the brain,” Dr. Segaert added. The study was recently published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The Best Aerobic Exercise for Your Brain

Previous research has found that aerobic exercise improves brain function better than other types of exercise. In fact, a University of Connecticut study found that aerobic exercise provides three times the cognitive improvement that resistance exercise does.

And there is one type of aerobic exercise that provides the most benefit. It not only helps keep your brain strong, but improves your heart health and can extend your lifespan more than other workouts.4

It’s called high intensity interval training or HIIT. We’ve told you about it before.

The formula for HIIT is simple…

You can apply it to any sort of cardio exercise: a treadmill, bike, elliptical machine, rowing, step training, swimming, or running… anything that gets your heart rate up.

Warm up for three to five minutes, doing your favorite aerobic activity… then exercise as hard as you can for 30–60 seconds.

Then slow the exercise for the next minute or two to catch your breath.

Repeat this process five to seven times. Then cool down for at least two minutes.

The workout can be as short as 15 to 20 minutes.

Besides getting more brain benefits, studies show that HIIT is better than longer, more moderate workouts at controlling your blood sugar, improving blood vessel function, and lowering blood pressure.

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References:
1 https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/15/magazine/exercise-language-muscle-memory-word-recall-aging-fitness.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fhealth&action=click&contentCollection=health%C2%AEion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront
2 https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-24972-1
3 https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201805/how-are-tip-the-tongue-states-linked-aerobic-fitness
4 https://www.institutefornaturalhealing.com/2015/05/friday-five-reasons-to-switch-to-high-intensity-interval-training-hiit/

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