A sports unit changes the brain

Sport leads to a distribution of happiness hormones and increases physical Fitness. Many studies suggest that exercise also gives the spirit new momentum. Itself, a unique sport unit, improves mental performance to a similar extent as regular Training, as new results are now showing.

Researchers at the University of Iowa have observed that a single training session improved the cognitive functions and working memory in elderly people: After they had pedaled 20 minutes on a home trainer, showed in brain scans and memory tests, significant improvements. The positive effects were maintained for only a short time.

In the long-term test, the participants were three months, three times per week for 50 minutes in the pedals, a group of moderate and another group with low intensity. Most of them benefited mentally from the Training. The profit, however, was not greater than the improvements that have been achieved in a single session.

Prof., Michelle Voss of the Department of psychology and brain Sciences, University of Iowa, says: "The benefits can occur faster than you think." She hopes that the Knowledge of the time-limited effects-motivated people, more often and to be active for a long time. "The accurate understanding of how long the benefits persist after a single session, and why some more of that benefit than others, are exciting questions for future research."

Voss has launched a five-year study to confirm these first results and to learn more about how movement changes the brain of older people. The participants are healthy older people who are physically active, similar to the profile of the participants in the current study.

ZOU