To Your Health
September, 2020 (Vol. 14, Issue 09)
Two Minutes of Exercise = Two Hours of Brain Health?
By Editorial Staff
As few as two minutes – is that all it takes to optimize your brain for up to two hours? If what you're doing is aerobic exercise, then the answer appears to be a resounding yes, according to a new research review.
In evaluating 13 studies that investigated the influence of aerobic exercise on memory and learning functions in young adults (18-35 years of age), researchers found that exercising aerobically for two minutes to one hour (a single "boost," if you will) at moderate to high intensity "improved attention, concentration, and learning and memory functions for up to two hours." Study findings appeared in the research journal Translational Sports Medicine. Aerobic activities featured in the study analysis included bicycling, walking and running – simple, straightforward aerobic exercises you can do without a gym or fancy equipment (unless you prefer fancy equipment for home or gym use, such as a treadmill, exercise bike, etc.).
So, let's think about this for a minute (or perhaps two): Why would improved attention, concentration, memory and learning for a two-hour window be important? Obviously it explains why athletes do a "hard" warm-up before a game or event - it makes them sharper and smarter during the event. But it doesn't stop with athletics? Think interviews, speeches, presentations, tests – anything that requires you to be at your mental best. A little vigorous aerobic exercise right before could make all the difference.