Scientific studies continue to show us how exercise can bring a range of cognitive benefits, from limiting the risk of Alzheimer's to giving an immediate boost to our learning capabilities. Researchers working in this area at the University of South Australia have turned their attention to neuroplasticity, finding two styles of workout in particular that give this key brain function the biggest boost.
“We already know that engaging in regular aerobic exercise is good for the brain, improving memory, attention and learning,” says co-author Dr Ashleigh Smith. “However, we need to understand why it is so beneficial and what the best exercise, intensity and duration is.”
To find some answers to these questions, Smith and her team conducted experiments where 128 healthy participants between the ages of 18 and 65 were subjected to a variety of workout types. These ranged from low-intensity continuous exercises to high-intensity interval exercises, with the subject's heart rates varying between 50 to 90 percent of the maximum.
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