Trying to master a new tennis serve? Try taking a short run right after working on the serve. Researchers at McGill University are convinced that exercise performed immediately after practicing a new skill improves its long term retention. A McGill news release reports that the researchers asked study subject to complete two tasks: operating a version of a joystick to move a curser from point to point, and an abridged version of the same task. The tasks were followed by either 15 minutes of exercise or 15 minutes of rest. The researchers discovered that those who had exercised were consistently able to repeat the tasks more efficiently and with less brain activity than those who hadn’t exercised, suggesting hat even a short bout of intense exercise can create an optimal brain state during the consolidation of motor memory which improves the retention of motor skills.