Effects of Physical Exercise on Executive Functions: Going beyond Simply Moving to Moving with Thought

Ann Sports Med Res. 2015 Jan 19;2(1):1011.


Studies of the cognitive benefits of physical activity need to move beyond simple aerobic activities that require little thought (treadmill running, riding a stationary bicycle, or rapid walking) and resistance training. Many studies have looked at this in older adults, and the evidence points strongly to those activities having little or no cognitive benefit, certainly little or no improvement to the executive functions that depend on prefrontal cortex. There is encouraging evidence for other types of physical activity improving executive functions; however they have received far less study.

Keywords: Cognitive; Executive functions; Physical exercise; flexibility.