Young students who are more physically fit have better mental performance too. Researchers at Nottingham Trent University observed over 100 students between nine and 11 years old as they performed a series of cognitive function tasks immediately after exercise and after a 45-minute rest. In the study, published in the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise, the researchers found that executive function – a set of mental skills that includes working memory, flexible thinking and self-control – tended to improve immediately after exercise. The more fit students performed better in the classroom, and they completed the cognitive tasks up to 10 percent faster than the less fit students, and just as accurately.
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