Researchers in Sweden have found that even two minutes of aerobic exercise can have a positive effect on brain function in young adults.
According to a recent review, published in the journal Translational Sports Medicine, just opting for a single exercise workout has positive effects on learning and memory in young adults.
Previous studies have shown that physical exercise improves mental health and cognitive function.
“Exercise makes you smart. The purpose of this systematic review was to evaluate the current literature examining the acute effects of a single exercise workout on learning and memory functions in young adults,” said study author Peter Blomstrand from the Jonkoping University in Sweden.
For the findings, the research team included 13 relevant studies for the review.
The types of exercise that were studied involved walking, running, and bicycling in individuals between 18 to 35 years of age.
Investigators found that aerobic exercise for two minutes to one hour at moderate to high intensity improved attention, concentration, and learning and memory functions for up to two hours.
They noted that the results may have important education-related implications.
The researchers said there was a connection between exercise and “learning ability,” which suggests that exercising before you work or study could be beneficial — though they said more research was needed to identify “optimal exercise strategies”.
“This systematic review shows that aerobic, physical exercise before encoding improves learning and memory functions in young adults,” the study authors wrote.