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J Clin Psychol Med Settings. 2009 Jun;16(2):186-93. doi: 10.1007/s10880-009-9159-6. Epub 2009 Mar 28.

Aerobic exercise enhances cognitive flexibility.

Author information

1
Masley Optimal Heatlh Center, 900 Carillon Parkway, Suite 300, St. Petersburg, FL, 33716, USA. steven@drmasley.com

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Physical activity is believed to prevent cognitive decline and may enhance frontal lobe activity.

METHODS:

Subjects were 91 healthy adults enrolled in a wellness center. Over a 10 week intervention, controls were aerobically active 0-2 days per week. Half the intervention group was active 3-4 days/week and half 5-7 days/week. Outcome measures included memory, mental speed, reaction time, attention, and cognitive flexibility.

RESULTS:

Neurocognitive data were analyzed by repeated measures comparing minimal aerobic exercise (the control group) to moderate aerobic exercise (3-4 days/week), and to high aerobic exercise (5-7 days/week). Initial analyses noted significant improvements in mental speed (p = .03), attention (p = .047), and cognitive flexibility (p = .002). After controlling for age, gender, education, and changes in psychomotor speed, only cognitive flexibility still showed significant improvements (p = .02).

CONCLUSION:

Over a 10 week period, increasing frequency of aerobic activity was shown to be associated with enhanced cognitive performance, in particular cognitive flexibility, a measure of executive function.

PMID:
19330430
DOI:
10.1007/s10880-009-9159-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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