Effect of different exercise modes at high intensity on immediate learning and arousal
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Acute exercise has an influence on human cognition, and evidence suggests that immediate learning can be facilitated. The purpose of this study was to explore the acute effect of high-intensity exercise conducted with different exercise modes on immediate learning outcome, and whether the effect was moderated by self-reported arousal. To this end, young adults [n = 42, 8 males/35 females, mean (SD) age: 23.53 (3.06), BMI: 23.19 (3.14)] were randomised to resting (control), ergometer cycling, or boxing a punching bag. The exercise was 90% of age-predicted maximal heart rate. Immediately after exercise or resting, participants studied a text containing historical information followed by a multiple-choice test. Results indicated that neither of the exercise groups performed better on the recall task compared to the control group, and the effect was not moderated by self-reported arousal. Further studies are warranted to establish the dose–response relationship between exercise and learning effects and its possible moderators.