Acute effects of moderate-intensity continuous physical exercise performed with different amounts of muscle mass on executive function in healthy young adults
a randomized trial
Keywords:physical activity, cognitive function, cognition, attention, inhibitory control
We examined the effect of amount of muscle mass involved in moderate-intensity continuous physical exercise on executive function. To this end, fifty-five participants completed two acute physical exercise sessions on an airbike ergometer using the upper and lower limbs simultaneously and only the upper limbs, and a resting control session in a randomized order. The physical exercise session lasted 30 min and was performed at moderate intensity (between 64 %–76 % of maximal heart rate evaluated in graded maximal exercise testing). Participants took the Stroop test (congruent and incongruent trials) before and after the sessions to assess executive performance. For the congruent trial, both physical exercise interventions improved executive function performance (pre vs. post, p-value = 0.002 and 0.003 for physical exercise with upper limbs and physical exercise with upper and lower limbs, respectively). Furthermore, executive function performance was higher after the physical exercise interventions than after the control session (p-value = 0.002 and 0.004 for physical exercise with upper limbs and physical exercise with upper and lower limbs, respectively). For the incongruent trial, both physical exercise interventions also improved executive function performance (pre vs. post, p-value < 0.001 for physical exercise with upper limbs and physical exercise with upper and lower limbs, respectively). owever, there were no significant differences after both physical exercise interventions and resting control session (p-value = 0.175). Executive function (congruent trial) was positively impacted by acute aerobic physical exercise regardless of the amount of muscle mass involved (upper limbs or upper plus lower limbs). Therefore, we recommend aerobic physical exercise with less or more muscle mass involved to improve cognitive function.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Marcos José Morais, Vinnycius Nunes de Oliveira, Ricardo Borges Viana, Marilia Santos Andrade, Rodrigo Luiz Vancini, Ricardo Mario Arida, Gustavo De Conti Teixeira Costa, Mario Hebling Campos, Carlos Alexandre Vieira, Katja Weiss, Beat Knechtle, Claudio Andre Barbosa de Lira
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