You’ll Be Amazed At How Your Brain Reacts To A Brief Jog

Got a spare 15 minutes? Well, don’t just sit around doing nothing! Instead, why not go for a quick, light jog?

According to a study from 2018, the simple act of a short jog can leave you feeling more energetic and happier than just chilling and doing nothing.

And guess what? That boost in mood and energy can make that brain of yours work better, too.

If you’re like me, then you like what you’re hearing already, eh?

woman happy jogging

The study, done by some clever psychologists from the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne in France, ended up finding that even a but of light exercise actually does more for your brain than relaxing.

Not ideal for couch potatoes, huh?

In the study, they discovered that moving around can lift your spirits and give you more energy, which in turn helps you think better.

In their words (well, kind of): “A quick bit of moderate exercise can make your brain work better by making you feel more energetic.” They wrote all about it in Acta Psychologica (see link above).

So, why is this such a big deal? Well, it turns out that the connection between energy, mood, and thinking isn’t something scientists have looked into a lot.

woman jogging with earbuds

The researchers said, “Almost no one has studied whether feeling good after exercise can make your brain work better.”

Honestly, how is this possible? You’d think this would have been studied long ago.

But no.

To find out and test their hypothesis, they found 101 healthy, young male and female graduate students to be part of their test group.

They suspected that exercise would boost brain power because it gives you more energy and puts you in a better mood. And they were right!

After exercising, people did better on brain tests because they felt more energetic and happier.

Testing Rest and Exercise

guy running on treadmill

The researchers tested the students’ brain power and mood before and after either running or relaxing. They found that moving around made people feel better and think better.

But, surprise! Just chilling out actually made people feel worse. Their energy and mood dropped when they did nothing.

The researchers said more studies are needed to figure out why relaxing can bring you down.

The students were randomly split into two groups: one for running and one for relaxing.

young athletic woman listening music earphones while jogging nature copy space

They did their activities for 15 minutes, and before and after, they took brain tests and filled out mood surveys.

After running or resting, the students rated their moods and energy levels on a scale with options like “lively,” “energetic,” and “cheerful.” They picked from seven options and rated them from 0 (not at all) to 4 (a lot).

The students also did brain tests where they had to connect numbers and letters as fast as they could. The runners did better on these tests and felt more energetic and happy after their jog.

The researchers concluded, “Aerobic exercise improves brain speed and attention because it makes you feel more energetic.”

guy running outside

Sadly, the relaxers didn’t do as well. Their energy dropped, and so did their performance and mood.

So, the next time you want to veg out on the couch and do nothing, maybe reconsider and do a light jog instead.

It just might improve your mood and your brain activity.

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