Smart-Effect through Sports
Fit, healthier and even smarter? Sports make it possible! That is revealed by the results of a brand new study from Canada, which investigated the effect of high-intensity exercise on cognitive capacity. By conducting a series of scientific tests, the Canadian researchers came to the conclusion that regular sport not only improves stamina and fitness, but also cognitive performance.
Brain activities as key indicator
Six male, untrained test persons participated in the study conducted by the University of Montreal. Over a time period of four months, they exercised twice a week in the interval method (alternating between short periods of low and high intensity). Before the start of the training program, the subjects underwent a series of cognitive, biological and physiological tests. In this process, several aspects had been examined, such as the flow of blood to the brain, heart rate, the blood’s oxygen content and memory capacity.
The study focused particularly on brain activities. By using the near-infrared spectroscopy, the scientists analysed the oxygen supply for the brain. With this technique, a probe, placed on the subject’s heads, measures how well the blood in the arteries absorbs infrared light, which depends on the blood’s oxygen content. After the four months, the subjects’ cognitive and physical condition was tested again. Besides the expected improvement of stamina, there was also a significant increase of the brain’s oxygen supply. In addition, the results in the cognitive tests improved considerably.
Regular training for better thinking
Regular, intensive training has not only a positive impact on fitness and health, but also on cognitive capacity: We can think better and faster. According to the researchers, the “smart-effect” through sports was the strongest in the results of those test persons whose stamina improved the most and who lost the most weight. Everybody who wants to bring more continuity into their personal running training can also get the needed support and motivation digitally.
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