Exercise as Elixir for the Mind
Physically trained participants showed improved performance on tests of cognitive function, heart rate variability and physical fitness (as measured by maximal oxygen consumption, or VO2max) when compared with detrained participants, shows a study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology (2004; Aug. 25, electronic publication).
Researchers subjected 37 male sailors from the Norwegian Navy to an 8-week physical training program and then performed initial cognitive testing. All subjects showed similar results in the pretest physical and cognitive function tests. Subjects were then split into two groups: one that continued fitness training and another that stopped. After 4 more weeks, all subjects participated again in physical fitness and cognitive function tests. The detrained group had lower aerobic fitness, lower heart rate variability and lower scores on tests of executive function.
According to the authors, these results suggest that there is a relationship between physical fitness and cognitive function and that this relationship is associated with heart rate variability. Rapid heart rate variability, efficiently mediated by the nervous system, is an indicator of heart health. More research that combines neuroimaging with physiological measures to clarify the exact nature of this relationship is recommended.
For the latest research, statistics, sample classes, and more, "Like" IDEA on Facebook here.
© 2004 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.
IDEA Newsletter Sign-up
|Extreme Interval Training
In this course you'll learn goal-focused intervals and over 50 dynamic exercises and drills to create extensive and intensive training formats.
|Cut to the Core
This is a raw, unedited video filmed live at the 2009 IDEA World Fitness Convention™. Cut to the Core is packed full of core-focused exercises that aim to improve the way you look, feel and live.
|September 2011 IDEA Fitness Journal Quiz 4: Plyometric Training
This continuing education quiz is an in-depth look at plyometric training. Plyometric exercises—jumping, bounding, hopping, arm pushing, and catching and throwing weighted objects such as machine balls—are movements that involve rapid eccentric and concentric muscle actions.