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HIT can boost brain power

A new study suggests as little as ten minutes of high-intensity training can have an impact on learning.

Research, conducted by a group of scientists at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, has shown potential benefits of shorter training sessions on memory, information, processing and behaviour in adults and children.

They randomly assigned participants in the study to either a placebo group involving activities such as games and quizzes or to a hight-intensity training (HIT) that involved an intense 10-minute workout every weekday over a period of six weeks.

Participants in the HIT group showed larger improvements in tasks involving memory, information, processing and behaviour, including the ability to focus on a task to completion without getting distracted.

“These findings reinforce previous research which has found exercise is one of the most effective non-invasive ways to improve memory and cognitive understanding,” one of the researchers in the study, Dr. David Moreau, said.

Studies in the past have suggested that long, sustained training sessions, performed at a moderate intensity for 30 to 40 minutes, are most beneficial to learning and memory. “It is important to note that physical exercise generally is not a single solution for addressing cognitive deficits – in some cases, more targeted or individualised interventions might be required, ” said Moreau.

“However, it remains that exercise is one of the most beneficial and non-invasive ways of enhancing cognition. Furthermore, we’ve shown that it needs not be time-consuming – as little as five hours of exercise can lead to sizeable benefits.”

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