A recent study published in the Journal of Current Biology, suggest exercising 4 hours post learning may increase long term memory retention.
The thought is that exercising at a time where your ability to retain the new information is starting to fade, causes exercise induced chemicals to boost the time which the brain can consolidate and absorb what has been learnt.
As a result exercising immediately post learning does not lead to the same brain boost as the learning is still fresh.
The main chemicals/hormones/proteins thought to be responsible for the exercise induced memory gain are:
Noradenaline is a hormone which is released by the adrenal medulla and by the sympathetic nerves and functions as a neurotransmitter
Dopamine is a compound present in the body as a neurotransmitter and a precursor of other substances including adrenaline.
Neurotrophins are a family of proteins that induce the survival, development, and function of neurons. The growth of neurons within the Hippocamus have shown to boost memory.
The conclusion being “Our results suggest that appropriately timed physical exercise can improve long-term memory and highlight the potential of exercise as an intervention in educational and clinical settings”