Apparently, light exercise--for example, riding a stationary bike at a gentle pace--during the process of creating new memories helps you remember things better. However, vigorous exercise seems to reduce recall in the short term and has no effect in the long term.
There's certainly more that scientists have to figure out about this phenomenon. But in the mean time, it may be worth trying these strategies:
- Walk slowly on a treadmill while reviewing your flashcards.
- Ride gently on an exercise bike while reading your textbook.
- Listen to an audio summary of your textbook chapters or a recorded lecture while doing light gardening or household chores.
- Quiz your study partners while taking a leisurely stroll through the park or across campus. But NOT across the parking lot!