Just 10 minutes of running can improve mental health through strong stimulation of the prefrontal cortex, and the effect of running is more noticeable than riding a stationary bike. This is the conclusion reached by a group of Japanese scientists. The results of their research were published in the journal Nature.
Running, compared to a stationary bike, forces the muscles of the whole body to work, which can improve mental health through strong brain stimulation, the abstract of the article notes. At the same time, scientists note that the main mechanisms of running on the brain have yet to be studied, since almost all similar studies were carried out using exercise bikes.
However, the researchers found that just 10 minutes of jogging resulted in a significant increase in participants’ mental alertness and pleasure compared to a control group. This was confirmed not only by the subjective sensations of the volunteers, but also by measurements of the activity of different parts of the brain. In addition, the participants in the experiment underwent special tests for quick wits and reaction – after a session of running, their cognitive abilities increased.
The researchers concluded that running, compared to riding a stationary bike, activates the cerebral cortex more strongly in the prefrontal regions, which are involved in regulating mood and maintaining mental activity. Thus, even short training sessions can improve brain function and overall mood.