HEALTHY LIVING
04/25/2013 11:58 pm ET | Updated Apr 26, 2013

Clenching Your Fist Could Help Boost Memory, Study Finds

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If you find yourself straining to remember the details of a dinner you attended last week, perhaps you should try making a fist with your right hand.

A new study published in the journal PLOS ONE shows that clenching your hands into fists could help form memories -- when the right hand is clenched -- and remember the memory later on -- when the left hand is clenched.

"The findings suggest that some simple body movements -- by temporarily changing the way the brain functions -- can improve memory," study researcher Ruth Propper, of Montclair State University, said in a statement. "Future research will examine whether hand clenching can also improve other forms of cognition, for example verbal or spatial abilities."

For the study, researchers split participants into different groups as they did an activity that involved memorizing and then recalling 72 words. One group clenched their right hands into fists for 90 seconds before they were given the list of words to memorize, and then clenched their right hands again after they had recalled the words. Another group was asked to do the same thing, but with their left hands. One group didn't clench their hands at all. Another group clenched their left hand before the memorizing task, and then their right hand right before they were asked to recall the words. One last group did the same, but with opposite hands.

Of all the hand-clenching combinations, the group that performed the best on the memorization and recalling of words was the one that clenched their right hand in a fist first, and then their left hand in a fist second.

Will you try this method? Let us know in the comments if you find it works for you! And for more memory-boosting tricks, click through the slideshow:

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