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Sprint Exercise Enhances Cognition in Adolescents 

Studies have shown that moderate exercise improves cognition in adolescents, but little was known about the effects of higher intensity, sprint-based exercise. A study published in the journal Preventive Medicine Reports examined the acute impact of sprints on cognitive function as measured by a variety of tests. The study included 44 adolescents who performed 10 sets of 10 second sprints with 50 seconds of rest and underwent cognitive tests 30 minutes before, immediately after, and 45 minutes after the sprints.

The results showed that the impact of the sprints depended on which cognitive variable was tested. Executive function (which includes attention control, planning, and focus) improved following high-intensity sprints, but visual-spatial memory and motor speed were not impacted. The authors concluded that “data supports the inclusion of high-intensity sprint-based exercise for adolescents during the school day to enhance cognition.”

Cooper SB, Bandelow S, Nute ML, Dring KJ, Stannard RL, Morris JG, Nevill ME. Sprint-based exercise and cognitive function in adolescents. Prev Med Rep. 2016 Jun 7;4:155-61. doi: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2016.06.004. eCollection 2016.

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