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Exercise Helps With Inhibitory Control

Students have better attentional control after a spin.

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Man cycling to improve inhibitory control

Studying for a big exam? Get some high-intensity exercise first. Why? Researchers compared test performance of “inhibitory control” of 19 college students, which is is an executive function that permits a person to curb impulse behavior and choose what is more consistent with goals.

Nine participants indoor cycled for 20 minutes just before the test, and 10 did not. Those who cycled had a reduced response time to test questions and answered more questions correctly. The team concluded that high-intensity exercise provides favorable effects on inhibitory control. The study was reported in Physiology & Behavior (2022: 254 [113902]).

See also: Executive Function: A Powerful Mode of Concentration


Shirley Eichenberger-Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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