Brain Health

How does exercise intensity impact cognition?

Dr Frank Lipman
Dec 1, 2022

How do low-intensity and high intensity exercise influence brain function? A recent study suggests that the intensity of workouts could be altered as a therapeutic strategy for cognitive disorders and performance.

Study Summary

This study, which included 25 male athletes, concluded that:

  • Both low and high-intensity exercise resulted in an increase in positive mood.
  • Low-intensity exercise enhanced functional connectivity in regions related to cognition and attention.
  • High-intensity exercise enhanced functional connectivity in regions related to emotion.
  • High-intensity exercise reduced functional connectivity in regions related to motor function.

The Hearty Take

Although this study is limited by sample size and population, it is the first study to assess the impact of different exercise intensities on brain region activation. At Hearty, we believe that future research will provide more evidence on applications of exercise intensity for specific brain functions or conditions but that the ideal regime likely has a mix of intensities. For personalized fitness tips, reach out to your medical team!

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