On 05/Apr/2019 / In Articles
Researchers from the University of Iowa in the United States of America have said light and frequent exercise are capable of boosting brain health in the short and long term.
According to medicalnewstoday.com, the researchers found evidence that exercise can benefit the brain and help maintain cognitive function.
The lead author of the study, Dr Michelle Voss, while presenting the team’s findings at a symposium in New York, said, “There is a strong and direct link between physical activity and how the brain works.”
“People still do not link physical health to the brain and cognitive health; all they think about is fitting into a bikini or losing that last pound, not about all the brain systems they are improving and enhancing every time they work out.”
She noted that the study was the first of its kind that looked at both the short and long-term benefits that exercise brought to brain health.
The report stated that in the study, volunteers agreed to undergo functional MRI scans measuring brain activity and take tests assessing their working memory. The participants underwent evaluations following single workout sessions of light and moderate exercise and assessment after a 12-week fitness programme.
Following the assessment, the researchers found out that those who had the most improvements in brain network connectivity and the largest cognitive benefits after single workouts also had similarly important positive effects at the end of their training.
For the purpose of the research, the study’s authors made available recumbent bicycles with motorised pedals, which gave the participants the choice of either actively pedaling or allowing the pedals to turn automatically.
“This feature allowed us to keep pedal speed constant while only changing heart rate between conditions of light and moderate intensity activity. This is novel for acute exercise paradigms, which often use sitting as a control condition,” Voss added.
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