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    Minimal effort required: A ten-minute run can boost brain processing

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    Summary: Minimal researchers found that as little as ten minutes of moderate-intensity running could benefit mental health. In study participants, both mood and cognitive functions improved. And the activation of bilateral prefrontal subregions associated with cognitive function and mood also increased. These results demonstrate the potential advantages of exercise prescriptions for various conditions including mental health treatment.

    Source: Scientific Reports.

    There is clear evidence that minimal physical activity has several benefits, such as the capacity to improve mood. But in earlier studies, cycling was the form of workout studied more often. Running, on the other hand, has at all times played an essential role in the well-being of humans. The unique form and efficiency of human running, that includes the capacity to sustain this method of exertion (i.e., by jogging in comparison with sprinting). And the evolutionary victory of human beings are closely connected.

    minimal running

    In spite of these details, no close observation at the effects of running on brain regions have been done by the researchers yet that possess control over mood and executive functions.

    To examine their hypothesis, the research team utilized the well-established Stroop Color-Word Test and captured data on hemodynamic changes connected with brain activity while participants were engaged in each function.

    For instance, in one task, dissimilar information is shown, i.e., the word red is written in green, and the participant must name the color and not read out the word. To do so, the human brain needs to process both sets of information and constrain the extraneous information. The Stroop interference effect was computed by the variance in response times for this task and those for a simpler form of the task — stating the names of color swatches.

    The results established that, after ten minutes of moderate-intensity running, there was a noteworthy decrease in Stroop interference effect time. In addition, bilateral prefrontal activation had considerably increased during the Stroop task. After running, participants confessed being in an improved mood than before.

    Published: Scientific Reports.

    Contact: Hideaki Soya Laboratory of Exercise Biochemistry and Neuroendocrinology, Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Japan.

    Details: Image source IStock

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