by Arizona Medifast
Achieving a good state of physical fitness can do wonders for the body, including providing many benefits for the heart and lungs. A large amount of evidence is beginning to show that good fitness can also do wonders for the mind, with a focus on the attention span and cognitive performance. Numerous studies are being performed to link the benefits of good fitness on mental ability, with a focus on the ability of sports to increase the cognitive attention span of an individual.
Clinically Testing Mental Performance
A group of researchers of the University of Granada held a recent test of the mental and physical health of 28 male participants. Of these, 14 were deemed to have low-levels of physical activity while the other half of the subject group had relatively high levels. The two groups were tested on a number of mental performance aspects, including time perception, time-oriented attention, and sustained attention to an object.
The research group concluded that the men with a higher level of physical activity demonstrated a greater span of attention, and had quicker reaction times to stimuli than the low exercise group.
Mental Performance beyond the Attention Span
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention pays special attention to the relationship between mental performance and level of exercise. They have gone on to claim that, according to their own research, the amount of physical activity a person performs can affect their brain in many ways other than attention span. These include an increased blood flow in the brain, an increase in the oxygenation of tissue, and an increase in the development and growth of nerve cells and brain tissue.
The extra tissue that can be grown in the brain of a person in good fitness health can be linked to improved processing of information, an improved ability in memory function, and some reduction in the sensations of pain of the body. The Illinois Department of Health has published their research in this area in the form of a study regarding which types of exercise affect the separate areas of the brain.
How Much Exercise Does a Person Need?
For people who are not already fit, the effort to adapt to the lifestyle can seem like an insurmountable hurdle. There is good news for these people however, as not every medical professional insists that the entire lifestyle needs to be altered to become fit enough to alter mental ability.
For an adult in good health, approximately 150 minutes of moderate levels of activity every week may suffice in improving cognition. Individuals who think they cannot fit a lengthy workout into their daily routine are suggested to break their activity into smaller achievable chunks, as even 10 minute sessions will add up to a healthy amount of exercise every week.