Originally published Jan. 1, 2018 in Psychology Today.
By Christopher Bergland, The Athlete’s Way
Just 10 minutes of aerobic exercise can improve executive function by priming parts of the brain used to laser focus on the task at hand, according to a new study. This paper, “Executive-Related Oculomotor Control Is Improved Following a 10-minute Single-Bout of Aerobic Exercise: Evidence from the Antisaccade Task,” was published in the January 2018 issue of Neuropsychologia.
This research was conducted by Matthew Heath, who is a kinesiology professor and supervisor in the Graduate Program in Neuroscience at the University of Western Ontario, along with UWO master’s student Ashna Samani.
For this study, Samani and Heath asked a cohort of healthy young adults to either sit quietly and read magazines or perform 10 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) on a stationary bicycle. (MVPA aerobic intensity is hard enough that you might break a sweat but easy enough that you can carry on a conversation.)