Having problems with temptation? Short-bursts of exercise were found to increase levels of self-control
Trying to resist a mid-afternoon chocolate bar? A short-burst of exercise could help, according to a review of recent research.
Scientists found that concentrated bouts of activity improved self-control in children, teenagers and adults aged up to 35 years old.
This may be because working out increases blood and oxygen flow to the pre-frontal cortex of the brain. This area is responsible for 'executive' functions and is particularly important for children and teens as it plays a vital role in concentration and learning.
Exercise could therefore provide a useful treatment for conditions involving impaired higher brain functions, such as autism and ADHD (attention hyperactivity deficit disorder).
'These positive effects of physical exercise on inhibition/interference control are encouraging and highly relevant, given the importance of inhibitory control and interference control in daily life,' they write in the BMJ.
'Inhibition is essential for regulation of behaviour and emotions in social, academic, and sport settings.'
The team from VU University Amsterdam added that physical activity it may also help delay the ravages of Alzheimer's disease.
'Given the trend for a more sedentary lifestyle, worldwide ageing and the increasing prevalence of dementia, the results highlight the importance of engaging in physical exercise in the general population,' they said.
The scientists analysed 19 studies published up to April 2012, which looked at the impact of short bouts of exercise on brain function in 586 participants aged from six to 35 years old. They found 12 of these studies looked at self control and all showed improved levels across the age range.
Brief bouts of intensive activity has already been found to ward off heart disease
Short bursts of exercise have already been proven to have a beneficial effect on your ticker.
A study from Aberdeen University found two-and-a-half minutes of exercise could be just as effective at warding off heart disease as a 90-minute jog.
Pedaling as hard as possible on an exercise bike for a few minutes was found to lower blood fat levels by 33 per cent.
Study author Dr Stuart Gray, told the British Science Festival last year that short bursts of intensive exercise may somehow spur the liver into taking in more fat from the blood, before storing it or burning it off.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2289679/Short-bursts-exercise-boost-self-control-used-treatment-ADHD-autism.html#ixzz2MtkkEqm3
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