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Mens sana in corpore sano!

sport

Even the Ancient Romans were aware of the positive correlation between exercise and mental activity. But not all sports are the same.

Which sports promote mental activity and what is the optimal amount of physical activity?

These questions were attempted to be answered by a group of researchers from the University of Basel in Switzerland and the University of Tsukuba in Japan in a study published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour.

A sport that includes training based on the development of strength and endurance seems to be more effective in terms of its effects on cognitive performance. Even more positive effects come from those sports activities that require complex coordination patterns and interaction with other players.

However, cognitive improvement does not seem to correlate with higher training intensity, but rather with longer training duration.

The benefits affect all age groups, potentially especially childhood, then the stage of greatest cognitive development, and old age, which is the stage of degradation. Based on the research results, however, it was not possible to define an indicator of the effectiveness of different sports activities according to different age groups. Instead, it has been seen that different ages can be brought together in the same sporting activity, such as through existing experiences of grandparents and grandchildren exercising together or men and boys engaging in more intense sporting activities.

We already know that the volume of sports activity is more important for men’s physical fitness than for women’s. This also applies to mental fitness. Especially in reference to the intensity of movement. While men and boys enjoy significant improvement, and over a longer period, in cognitive performance following hard training and increased, albeit gradual, intensity, for women the improvement in cognitive ability appears to be linked with low to medium intensity sports activities.

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