Let's Take a Step Backwards

By Stephen R. Farris

This may seem weird to some of you, but did you know walking backwards may improve your memory. Maybe not your entire memory, but at least the short-term of it. Who would have thought (no pun intended), that this is actually something that can happen? But it's true according to a recent study.

How many times have you heard someone tell you to retrace your steps after you've misplaced something? If you're like me, plenty. When we hear that phrase, our first thought is to retrace our steps in our minds, rather than actually reversing our steps. The study showed that people who walk backwards, imagined they were walking backwards, or watched videos of walking backwards, had better recall of recent memory. 

It may be weird, yet it's very intriguing at the same time. More study is being researched as to why and how this is possible. In the meantime, you can practice at home when you forget where you left your purse or wallet.

The Boost

To test this study, scientists staged scenarios in which participants practiced both walking forward and backwards, and sat still and watched a video. At least 90 percent of the scenarios resulted in a 10-minute boost to memory. Other scenarios involving asking questions to participants who watched a video. Those walking backwards had better memory recollection versus those who sat still or walked forward.

Total Recall: Not Exactly

Experts hope to implement what they've learned so far into existing techniques. For instance, someone who has witnessed a crime or other event, in which they are interviewed might be asked to visually walk through what they saw, as well as going backwards. Experts would like to literally use the technique along with the virtual ones that are being used to boost memory. The studies are ongoing, so be on the lookout for new memory boosting developments.

This may all seem futuristic, but it's quickly becoming a reality. In the meantime, when you accidentally forget where you left the keys to your house or car, try walking backwards. It may or may not help, but at least it's worth a try. Just make sure you're able to keep your balance and don't wander out into the street. Safety first.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Case Grande, Ariz.

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