This is the way to exercise to maximize _x000B_brain-derived neurotrophic factors. Brain-derived neurotrophic factors(BDNF) are essential for persistent long term memory storage(Bekinschtein P, et al. 2008). At least one of the reasons exercise helps memory is because physical activity increases BDNF levels(Szuhany KL, et al. 2015). What is the most effective way to exercise to affect BDNF levels? 2 types of aerobic type exercises were compared. 20 minutes of continuous exercise at 70% of maximum work rate, and a high intensity interval-training protocol at 90% of maximum work rate of 1 minute, alternating with 1 minute of rest(Saucedo Marquez CM, et al. 2015). Both protocols lasted for 20 minutes. It was found that the shorter bouts of high intensity exercise were more effective than the continuous protocol. Most of the participants also preferred that protocol. This is not the first time high intensity short interval training has shown to be a more effective way to exercise. I recently designed a program called "Exercise for Maximum Benefits spending Minimum Time" where I explain how you can implement the principles of high intensity short interval training in such a way that you can do these exercises anywhere, even at work.
Bekinschtein P1, Cammarota M, Katche C, Slipczuk L, Rossato JI, Goldin A, Izquierdo I, Medina JH. BDNF is essential to promote persistence of long-term memory storage. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Feb 19;105(7):2711-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0711863105. Epub 2008 Feb 8.
Saucedo Marquez CM1, Vanaudenaerde B2, Troosters T3, Wenderoth N4. High intensity interval training evokes larger serum BDNF levels compared to intense continuous exercise. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2015 Oct 15:jap.00126.2015. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00126.2015.
Szuhany KL1, Bugatti M2, Otto MW2. A meta-analytic review of the effects of exercise on brain-derived neurotrophic factor. J Psychiatr Res. 2015 Jan;60:56-64. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2014.10.003. Epub 2014 Oct 12.
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