From a health perspective, it is good for the body whether the intensity of exercise is low or high. But not all fitness has the same effect on the brain, according to a new study. Some types of fitness exercises improve attention, while others offer emotional-related benefits. The findings may help shape exercise routines specifically designed to treat mood or attention disorders.
This is the first study in the industry to determine the different effects of high-intensity and low-intensity exercise on the brain, so the survey surveyed only 25 male athletes, so the sample size is relatively small. Researchers from the University of Bonn Hospital used Rs-fMRI scans to study the brain connectivity of the athletes.
The project mainly reveals how parts of the brain respond to different intensity of exercise, leading to preliminary conclusions that low-intensity exercise activates brain networks associated with attention processing and cognitive control, while high-intensity exercise activates brain networks associated with processing emotions. Low-intensity and high-intensity exercise both caused positive changes in mood, while bad moods did not “significantly” change. However, high-intensity exercise was found to increase connectivity in the brain networks behind emotional/emotional processing and to reduce connectivity in areas associated with motor function.