To Your Health
December, 2021 (Vol. 15, Issue 12)
10 Minutes to a Better Brain
By Editorial Staff
Are you only 10 minutes away from better brain health? We're talking about 10 minutes of moderate-intensity jogging, and new research suggests a mere 10 minutes improves both mood and the brain's ability to process information – a win-win for your brain health and daily life!
Researchers evaluated the impact of jogging on mood via a mood scale, completed by study participants before and after 10 minutes of moderate-intensity jogging on a treadmill. They also assessed how jogging impacted the brain's ability to process information; specifically how it mitigated the "Stroop interference effect "– the interference that occurs when attempting to process multiple sets of information simultaneously while also filtering out extraneous information.
In their study, published in Scientific Reports, researchers discovered that 10 minutes of jogging not only improved mood ("significant enhanced arousal and pleasure levels" compared to a control group that did not jog;) but also reduced the Stroop interference effect. In other words, study participants, after jogging for 10 minutes, were able to complete higher-level information processing (for example, recognizing the correct color even if the word is written in another color) with minimal delay compared to less challenging processing tasks (for example, identifying color swatches: red swatch = red, and so on).
The researchers arrived at two important real-world conclusions in light of their findings: 1) "Running may be considered an exercise mode that benefits mood, which is an important factor for exercise adherence"; and "These finding are valuable in supporting [the] moderate running effect on mental health, since running is an easily accessible form of exercise requiring minimal equipment and sport structure."
Ten minutes – you can find 10 minutes at least once a day to enhance your mood and improve your brain's ability to function optimally, can't you? If you can't seem to find the time (or motivation), ask your doctor for help ensuring physical activity is a key component of your everyday health and wellness routine.