Finding it hard to concentrate?
The good news is, high-intensity exercise can enhance attention span, focus and the ability to tune out distractions. ‘A number of studies have shown that aerobic exercise, such as short-interval running or sprints, can trigger heightened activity within parts of the brain responsible for our ability to achieve clarity of mind and to help us get out of the noise of daily life,’ says Martynoga.
SHORT-INTERVAL RUNNING OR SPRINTS Photo Gallery
This immediate benefit lasts for some time post-exercise and improves attention span and something called executive control, which makes you better at ignoring distractions and directing your attention to a particular goal. Although any kind of aerobic exercise may have the same affect, Martynoga pinpoints running as a kind of moving mindfulness meditation, similar to yoga in its ability to allow you to inhabit the present moment and focus on your body and breathing.
‘When running, you’re aware of your breathing, you experience the sensations in your limbs and you’ve got to be in the moment, otherwise you’re going to trip up!’ he says. This can further enhance the brain benefits produced by the exercise, allowing you to hone in on a single task more effectively.
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