Could Just One Bout of Exercise Be Good for the Brain?

Adie Blanchard | 2014-09-13 07:15:05

It’s evident that regular activity is beneficial not only for the body, but for the brain too. It helps to improve cognition, memory and brain function, where it may also have a protective effect against neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Although there are many studies highlighting the benefits of both long and also short term exercise and activity on improving cognition, research has even found that just one bout of intense exercise immediately before or after practicing a motor task may help to improve the long term retention of a motor skill. With the positive effect being even greater when exercise is performed immediately after practice.

Even though the study was conducted using only young male participants and intense exercise, the implications of this study show that exercise could potentially be implemented as a technique to improve rehabilitation by improving motor skill learning through enhancing motor memory. If this study found motor memory to improve with just one bout of exercise, the effects of an exercise program or long term exercise could be even more effective in boosting cognitive function. Despite more research being required, this study further highlights the impact of exercise in keeping our brains healthy, as well as our body!

Adie Blanchard – Researcher



Chapman, S. B., Aslan, S., Spence, J. S., DeFina, L. F., Keebler, M. W., Didehbani, N., & Lu, H. (2013). Shorter term aerobic exercise improves brain, cognition, and cardiovascular fitness in aging. Frontiers In Aging Neuroscience5.

Roig, M., Skriver, K., Lundbye-Jensen, J., Kiens, B., & Nielsen, J. B. (2012). A single bout of exercise improves motor memory. PloS one7(9), e44594.