Even a single exercise session helps your brain

  • A review of research has concluded that even a single bout of physical activity can have significant positive effects on people's mood and cognitive functions.

An extensive review of research looking at the effects of a single bout of exercise has concluded that:

  • the most consistent behavioral effects of acute exercise are
    • improved executive function
    • enhanced mood
    • decreased stress levels
  • widespread brain areas and brain systems are activated

Executive functions include attention, working memory, problem solving, cognitive flexibility, verbal fluency, decision making, and inhibitory control.

These positive changes have been demonstrated to occur with very low to very high exercise intensities, with effects lasting for up to two hours after the end of the exercise bout.

While brainwaves are all enhanced across the brain, hippocampal theta brainwaves are particularly enhanced by exercise, and the effects of this suggest that exercise particularly helps with tasks that depend on hippocampal-prefrontal interactions. Exercise also helps increase blood flow to the frontal regions.

One of the most dramatic effects of exercise is on neurochemical levels, including neurotransmitters and growth factors (such as BDNF).

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-06/ip-cas061217.php

Reference: 

Related News

A study designed to compare the relative benefits of exercise and diet control on Alzheimer’s pathology and cognitive performance has revealed that while both are beneficial, exercise is of greater benefit in reducing Alzheimer’s pathology and cognitive impairment.

More findings from the long-running Mayo Clinic Study of Aging reveal that using a computer plus taking moderate exercise reduces your risk of mild cognitive impairment significantly more than you would expect from simply adding together these two beneficial activities.

I’ve talked before about Dr Berman’s research into Attention Restoration Theory, which proposes that people concentrate better after nature walks or even just looking at nature scenes.

I’ve mentioned before that, for some few people, exercise doesn’t seem to have a benefit, and the benefits of exercise for fighting age-related cognitive decline may not apply to those carrying the Alzheimer’s gene.

A number of studies, principally involving rodents, have established that physical exercise stimulates the creation of new brain cells in the

A study involving 86 older women (aged 70-80) with probable

A four-year study involving 716 elderly (average age 82) has revealed that those who were most physically active were significantly less likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those least active.

Following on from research showing an association between lower walking speed and increased risk of dementia, and weaker hand grip strength and increased dementia risk, a large study has explored whether this association extends to middle-aged and younger-old adults.

A review of 10 observational and four intervention studies as said to provide strong evidence for a positive relationship between physical activity and academic performance in young people (6-18).

We know that physical exercise greatly helps you prevent cognitive decline with aging. We know that mental stimulation also helps you prevent age-related cognitive decline. So it was only a matter of time before someone came up with a way of combining the two.

Pages

Subscribe to Latest newsSubscribe to Latest newsSubscribe to Latest health news