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You’ve probably already heard that exercising can offer big benefits when it comes to your cognition and memory. Maybe you’ve even made a New Year’s resolution to get to the gym more often…
But, we all know how those resolutions go once January has come and gone.
It becomes harder and harder to find that extra hour or two to workout…
Or getting to the gym becomes more and more of a hassle…
And, slowly but surely you’re right back where you started — sitting at home and telling yourself that next year it will be different.
If this sounds all too familiar, I’ve got some great news for you.
According to a new scientific study, you don’t have to spend hours in the gym, sweat your way through an aerobics class or kill yourself trying to get in shape in order to get those big, brain-boosting benefits exercise has to offer.
In fact, you can pump up your brain power in just 10 minutes…
Power up your focus
Researchers at the University of Western Ontario split study participants into two groups who were given tests to assess their brain functions with a task designed to challenge areas of their brains responsible for executive function like decision-making and inhibition.
One group then sat and read a magazine for 10 minutes while the other group performed moderate-to-vigorous exercise on a stationary bicycle.
Following the reading and exercise session, their brain function was reassessed.
Here’s what they found…
Those who had exercised showed immediate improvement in their cognitive skills. Their responses were more accurate and their reaction times were up to 50 milliseconds shorter than their pre-exercise values.
And, according to the researchers while that may seem like a small improvement, it actually represented a 14 percent gain in cognitive performance in some instances.
That’s a 14 percent boost in brain power after only 10 minutes of exercise – that’s powerful stuff.
Short spurts for quick gains
So, if you’re ready to pump up your brain power, here are some ideas for quick exercise sessions you can do anywhere.
#1 – Take a brisk walk – It may be chilly this time of the year but in most places, you can still bundle up and get out for a short walk. The key is to really get your arms and legs moving and your blood pumping.
#2 – Break out your bicycle – Cycling is a great way to grab a short burst of activity and have fun doing it.
#3 – Jump rope – If you don’t feel like getting out in the cold, get your 10 minutes of activity in the comfort of your own home and feel like a kid again by jumping rope.
#4 – Dance it out – Dancing can really get your heart rate up and lift your spirits at the same time. Just put on some of your favorite tunes and dance like no one can see you. In fact, there’s a good argument that the secret to a bigger brain is on the dance floor!
#5 – Fitness expert Debra Atkinson has a great 7-minute “busy day workout” you could adapt to last a full 10 minutes. No special equipment required and you can do it at your speed or fitness level. Give it a try!
Exercise provides powerful benefits when it comes to your brain and cognitive functions but you don’t have to spend hours at the gym. Grabbing just 10 short minutes of moderate exercise will give you immediate benefits and boost your brain power.
Editor’s note: While you’re doing all the right things to protect your brain as you age, make sure you don’t make the mistake 38 million Americans do every day — by taking a drug that robs them of an essential brain nutrient! Click here to discover the truth about the Cholesterol Super-Brain!
- Short-term exercise equals big-time brain boost — University of Western Ontario