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Aerobic Exercise Associated With Improved Cognitive Performance

Previous research suggests that our brains may work best when we’re physically active. A recent study suggests that aerobic exercise may improve cognitive performance.


Participants in the study included 24 people who completed visual working memory tasks while at rest and then again during exercise in different postures. The postures included seated on and pedaling a stationary bicycle and standing upright and walking on a treadmill.


Cognitive performance was assessed via evaluation of access of visual working memory representations, response selection, and response execution. These tests were performed while at rest and during the two aerobic exercises.


The researchers found that aerobic exercise and upright posture had significant effects on facilitating processing speed during the visual working memory assessments, when compared with passive and seated positions. This suggests that our brains may perform best while our bodies are active.


Researchers from Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich led the study. It was published on October 12, 2018, in British Journal of Psychology.


Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week for maximum cardiovascular benefits. Aerobic exercise can be added to your routine either as a set workout time or by adding more walking, taking the stairs, and other movement to your day.

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