It is well known that exercise contributes to physical health and this has been clearly established. Studies have shown the relationship between physical activity and cognitive health in older adults but, not much has been done with young people.
Charles Hillman,PhD. from University of Illinois has done research in this area. His research involves the studies of children age 9 to 10. High-fit kids showed greater hippocampal brain volume, which positively affects how well they perform on certain memory tests, and greater basal ganglia volume, which is related to cognitive control functions underlying action. Translation: bigger brain that thinks better.In one of his studies people were found to perform better on difficult memory tests 30 minutes after doing cardio. They are not sure why. It may be due to increased blood flow to the brain and it improves your ability to learn new things. Preliminary data of his research has shown after exercise, more attentional resources are allocated to tasks, cognitive processing speed is increased, and cognitive performance improves. So long term exercise shows brain changes that help cognitively and even one time cardio sessions help brain performance. Continue reading