Ryan Fitzpatrick, aka FitzMagic, the quarterback of the Miami Dolphins, scored a 48 on the Wonderlic test in 2005 when he was first in the league — the third highest in NFL history. That’s the exam the league uses to evaluate its players’ ability to comprehend and process information.
We figure he’s been athletic all his life, and according to a new study, that may have boosted his basic brainpower, and it can do the same for you. The research, published in Translational Sports Medicine, looked at 13 relevant studies of folks ages 18 to 35 years old who were walking, running and bicycling. They showed that aerobic exercise for as little as two minutes and up to 60 minutes, done at moderate to high intensity, boosts attention, concentration, learning and memory for up to two hours after you stop. Other studies with younger and older folks confirm it helps for all ages.
The bottom line: If you have a challenging assignment at work or are trying to learn something new, your best bet may be to get on the stationary bike, go for a fast walk or take a jog outdoors before settling in to do a demanding mental task. And you can amplify the benefits, which come in part from increased blood flow and oxygenation to the brain, if you work out every day.
We say go for 30 to 60 minutes, because then you strengthen your circulatory system and skeletal muscles along with improving your mental agility and ability.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.