A preliminary study has found that exercise
may rev up a person's brain power.
In the study, the researchers measured
the thinking ability of 20 men and women aged 18 to 24 after
30 minutes of moderately heavy to heavy running on a treadmill.
Once the participants' heart rates had returned to resting
levels, they were wired up to an instrument that measures
brain waves called an electroencephalogram (EEG).
They then took two computer tests, one
more difficult than the other. These results were compared
with results from tests the participants took without exercising
wave measurements showed that exercising increased the speed
of the decision-making process.
activity kicked in 35 milliseconds faster after
exercise compared with when study participants did not exercise.
Although that may sound like a small amount of time, that
it is actually quite significant.
In addition, the respondents answered
more accurately after exercise then they did when they had
If the findings hold true, they can be
added to a growing body of research on the beneficial effects
of even short periods of activity. One recent study found
that 10 minutes of moderate exercise daily can improve mood
and reduce fatigue.
Another study reported that stair climbing
for 2 minutes several times a day can lower total cholesterol,
raise HDL cholesterol and improve the resting pulse rate in
sedentary young women.
Meeting Of The Society Of Psychophysiological Research in
Montreal, Canada October 18, 2001