About exercise recommendations to relax your brain

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In todays popula&on stress and psychological diseases are on the rise. To support mental health, exercises should be recommended which reduce electrocor&cal arousal especially within the prefrontal cortex (execu&ve func&ons). Because a decrease of prefrontal brain cor&cal ac&vity was revealed following running exercise in runners but not bicycling, armcranking or isometric strength exercise (Brümmer et al. 2011), it was hypothesized that exercise preference, adapta&on or running characteris&cs might play a role for the post-exercise effect on brain cor&cal ac&vity. PURPOSE: The present study aimed to check the preference/adapta&on hypothesis by tes&ng a group of triathletes, who are adapted to both running and bicycling, but who prefer one of the two exercises. A group of hockey players running but during a compe&&ve match will confine the effect of running characteris&cs. METHODS: 10 professional triathletes were asked to perform two modes of triathlon (bicycling and running), each at their individual self-chosen intensity under field condi&ons (STUDY TRIATHLETES). 24 professional hockey players (n=12 ac&ve, n=12 passive) were tested during a compe&&ve match (STUDY HOCKEY). Electroencephalography (EEG) was recorded under rest condi&ons before (PRE) and ader (POST) exercise. Low-resolu&on brain electromagne&c tomography (LORETA) was applied to localize current density (μV2/mm4) of the frontal, parietal, occipital and temporal lobe. RESULTS: In triathletes, brain cor&cal ac&vity decreased following running exercise within the frontal (p< .001) lobe. No differences were found for bicycling exercise. Comparing the trials of the preferred with non-preferred mode revealed no difference for all regions of interest (frontal p= .943, occipital p= .438, parietal p= .987, temporal p= .664). In hockey players, no significant differences between PRE and POST brain cor&cal ac&vity and between ac&ve and passive players were found. CONCLUSION: The triathlete study supports that the effect of exercise on brain cor&cal ac&vity is not dependent on adapta&on but running itself. The exercise preference hypothesis could not be confirmed. The hockey data suggests that steady rather than interval running is making the difference. Steady running should be recommended to support mental health. Further studies are required for verifica&on.
Translated title of the contributionEin Beitrag zu Sportempfehlungen zur Entspannung im Gehirn
Original languageEnglish
Article number2150
JournalMedicine and science in sports and exercise
Issue numberSupplement 1-5
Pages (from-to)607
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 31.05.2016

ID: 3179249


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