Numerous studies have been undertaken with results showing Cognitive function improves after a High Intensity session compared with low moderate activity.
High Intensity Interval training has a large number of benefits to health. One in particular that is rarely spoken about is the effect it has on brain health. Recently a client of the gym joined my HIIT class sharing these interesting facts with me. I thought it was a great idea to share them with all of you!
So the idea of HIIT workouts is periods of work followed by periods of rest. The rest period can even be an active recovery at low intensity or an isometric exercise such as the well know plank. The times and type of rest and work can differ depending on what you want to achieve from the session.
So what actual studies prove the link between HIIT workouts and improved brain functioning?
A report by the guardian highlights how the UK population is becoming more and more inactive. This is an issue not only for our physical health but also for our cognitive brain functioning. Activity is more encouraged when we are younger but as we reach an older age it is just as important hence maybe why dementia is a growing problem.
A small study of Obese patients taking part in a 4 month HIIT programme showed after completion their cognitive functioning; short term and verbal memory as well as attention and processing speed all showed improvements. The results also concluded that their cerebral oxygen extraction was also increased.
This study shows the potential of using HIIT training within schools and showed the effect it had on cognitive and mental health in adolescents over an 8 week time scale. The studies conclusion showed that HITT training improved the groups psychological well being, perceived appearance and executive functioning.
This study involved middle aged participants who underwent a range of mental tests before and after high intensity exercise. After the session the results showed that cognitive functioning improved.
So basically where was I going with this? HIIT has so many benefits so why not give it a go and get your brain health going! Coming soon..some HIIT workouts you can do in your own home!
For a schedule of HIIT classes in Whistler please click here.
For a relevant article and more studies please click here.