10-40 minute bursts of activity immediately boosts concentration and focus – probably because of increased blood flow in the brain.
So who could blame us for racing round the block for 20 minutes before an exam?
Another bit of research showed that 9 year olds who took a brisk walk had activity in the brain regions associated with focused attention and filtering out noise and other distractions during a mental test.
Of course, time engaged in physical activity in schools has been reduced over the years. What affect might this have had on the children’s brain development, I wonder? I guess the intention was to fere up more curriculum time for academic endeavour – and yet, it’s possible we’ve shot ourselves in the foot, if this research is anything to go by.
Exercise stimulates the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, also known as BDNF, which in turn, encourages the growth of new brain cells, in areas of the brain responsible for reasoning.
What exercise you can take, and what beneficial effect does it make on the brain.
For instant brain power
- Skipping with a rope
- Running on the spot
To alleviate depression
- Steady exercise (aim to burn 350 calories) 3 times a week
- Learn a new workout
Retaining memory in the elderly
- Mild daily activity
- Short walks
Read more about this in The Daily Dose.