The Work­out That Boosts IQ

The harder you run, the sharper you are af­ter­wards

Runner's World (UK) - - In This Issue -

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.

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