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"Exercise makes you happy and focused."

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IN THE ARSENAL OF HEALTH-PROMOTING BEHAVIORSregular exercise is one of the best tools at our disposal to prevent disease and live a long life. It strengthens immune function, builds muscle, and protects mental health. And according to a recent research review, working out can also make you smarter.

After analyzing 13 studies on exercise and cognitive function, scientists found moderate to high intensity aerobic exercise improved young adults’ attention, concentration, as well as learning and memory functions, for up to two hours after working out.

“Exercise makes you happy and focused,” study co-author and physician Peter Blomstrand of County Hospital Ryhov and Jönköping University, tells Inverse. “Exercise makes you smart!”

BRAIN TRAINING — Past studies link regular exercise and improved cognitive function in children, teenagers, and the elderly. But few studies focus on young adults or individuals between 18 and 35 years of age, the researchers write.

To fill the research gap and determine the effects of a single workout on young adults’ learning and memory function, researchers collated relevant studies published between 2009 to 2019. The team included those studies that use an experimental study design (such as a randomized, controlled trial of an exercise intervention) and included healthy, young adults.

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