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Even 10 Minutes of Exercise May Boost Brain Function

Looking for a boost on a test or an interview? A quick workout may do the trick. A recent study suggests that a one-time 10 minute burst of exercise may help boost executive-related brain function.

Participants in the study included healthy young adults who were instructed to either sit and read a magazine or do 10 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise on a stationary bike. Afterward, the researchers used eye-tracking equipment to assess the participants’ reaction times to a cognitively demanding eye movement task. The task specifically measured activity in areas of the brain that are responsible for executive function.

The researchers noted that the exercise group had more accurate responses, as well as reaction times that were 50 milliseconds shorter than the pre-exercise values. That change represented a 14% gain in cognitive performance for some of the participants.

Researchers from The University of Western Ontario conducted the study. It was published on January 8, 2018, in Neuropsychologia.

Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health. Previous clinical studies suggest that even moderate exercise may help with blood sugar control, body weight reduction, improved heart health, improved respiratory health and reduced risk of dying prematurely.

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