Study: Just 10 minutes of jogging could be enough to boost your mood and brain
Published on: Monday, December 27, 2021
By: Malay Mail, ETX Studio
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In 10 minutes, running can promote a sense of well-being and boost cognitive function, research suggests. ― Shutterstock pic
TOKYO: A wealth of scientific studies highlight the positive effects of physical activity on our mood and cognitive abilities. Indeed, exercise can help improve our learning capacity and memory, while helping to reduce anxiety and depression. Now, a recent Japanese study suggests that just 10 minutes of running can boost our mood and brain function.

Physical activity is good for our health, well-being and brain, as a multitude of scientific studies have shown for many years. But a recent study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, suggests that a single 10-minute run may have effects on our mood and brain function.

According to researchers at the University of Tsukuba in Japan, 10 minutes of jogging could have more impact than cycling, the exercise form often used in scientific studies. Here, the researchers specifically measured the impact of jogging on the brain. “Running, compared to pedalling, is a whole-body locomotive movement that may confer more mental health via strongly stimulating brains,” the study explains. “Although running impacts on mental health but their underlying brain mechanisms have yet to be determined,” the authors continue, since many studies have been carried out based on cycling.

Running can boost mood and cognitive function

To find out more, the researchers enrolled 26 healthy participants. Each participant completed a 10-minute running session on a treadmill. The intensity was moderate. Then, each participant observed an equivalent rest period. To measure the effects of this physical activity, the researchers measured the level of oxygenation in a region of the brain that plays an important role in controlling mood and executive functions: the bilateral prefrontal cortex. To do this, they used near-infrared spectroscopy techniques.

After the workout session, the researchers subjected the volunteers to the colour-word matching “Stroop” test used to measure reaction times in brain processing. Here, a colour, for example “green” is written in red. The participants then had to say the colour used and not the written word.

After these tests, the researchers noted that brain activity was clearly stimulated. In addition, the mood of the participants improved. “These finding are valuable in supporting [the effect of] moderate running on mental health, since running is an easily accessible form of exercise requiring minimal equipment and sport structure. This should shed light on the specificity of running among a [variety] of exercise prescriptions promoting mental health,” the researchers conclude.

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