Over the past 10 years exercise has been shown to have positive effects on not only the body but on the person’s brain. Studies show that exercise will improve the ability to learn and remember. So, is it best to learn during your exercise or after the exercise. Also, should the exercise be gentle or vigorous?

Two studies were done to help tackle the situation. The first study was done in a large group of females where they were learning an unfamiliar word. While learning that word they were set up in different circumstances. One group listened to the word after sitting quietly. The next group rode a cycle gently for 30 minutes then learned the word. The last group rode the cycle vigorously with headphones as they listened to that same word. The second study took 11 female collegians to read a chapter from a textbook in two occasions: while sitting quietly and, on a separate day, on a vigorous elliptical run for 30 minutes. Immediately after each session, the students were tested on the material they’d just read.

When the two studies concluded, both yielded separate results. During the first study, the results showed that women that performed the best were the ones that took in the new words as they exercised lightly while listening to the word. But unlike the first study, the top performers that didn’t exercise and tested immediately. What does this mean? That if you have an exam in a few hours, you should take some quiet time to study your work. But if the exam is the next day then it is ok to hit that work out before you study. Would this be something you would try? Let us know below.

[The New York Times]

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