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How you can improve your brain function with just one workout


TED via Facebook | Fair Use

Sophia Swinford - published on 07/07/18

Overwhelmed by the idea of a workout routine? You can get benefits from just one session!

For many, the prospect of developing a regular exercise routine (and then sticking to it) can feel stressful and overwhelming, and that stress can prevent you from working out at all because you’re not sure you can commit to a schedule. But in her TED talk, neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki explains how exercise has an immediate effect on the brain. That means even just one workout is well worth your time.

“My lab showed that a single workout can improve your ability to shift and focus attention,” she explains, “and that focus improvement will last for at least two hours. And, finally, studies have shown that a single workout will improve your reaction times.” If you’re stressed, anxious, or unable to focus, investing time and energy in just one work out can improve your day almost immediately.

Exercise in the long-term doesn’t just keep your body healthy; it also changes your brain. “Here you can think about the brain like a muscle. The more you’re working out, the bigger and stronger your hippocampus and prefrontal cortex get,” Suzuki says. “Why is that important? Because the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus are the two areas that are most susceptible to neurodegenerative diseases and normal cognitive decline in aging.”

Long-term exercise can protect your brain later in life, but you don’t need to wait years to see your investment pay off. You can improve your day right now with just one short workout.

You can hear more from Suzuki in the video below.

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