The Workout That Boosts IQ
The harder you run, the sharper you are afterwards
Run easy: solve problems. Run hard: solve them faster
EXERCISE enhances brain function but Japanese research1 suggests intensity is key. The study compared performances in a mentally taxing test before, immediately after and 30 minutes after workouts of different intensity and duration. All participants improved mental performance, but not to the same degree: short-duration, low-intensity exercise fared worst, although 40 minutes were better than 20. And while both moderate and high-intensity interval-training workouts gave an equal boost immediately afterwards, the effects lasted longer after the highintensity session. The message is clear: the harder you work, the greater the effect and the longer it will last, but even a little low-intensity running will make you better equipped to find the missing piece to a brain puzzle.