Campus News

Kinesiology professor discusses ‘priming your mind’ with a workout

Phillip D. Tomporowski, a professor in the kinesiology department of the Mary Frances Early College of Education, was recently quoted in an article from Shape about ways to stay focused when you’re stressed and overwhelmed.

A boot camp class or a run can make your memory sharper the next day. There are two ways to optimize this effect: Exercise either before or after taking in all the information you aim to remember, Tomporowski said.

“If you exercise before learning information, the physiological arousal will give you a boost in attention,” he said.

Sensory reactions—thanks to increased heart rate, movement and respiration—flow back to your brain, which leads to a spark in neurotransmitters. All of this contributes to this “enhanced memory magic.”

On the other hand, if you study and then work out, another theory suggests that you remember better due to how the hippocampus works. Both methods are efficient and proven to boost your recall. So, what is the dose that will help you stay focused?

“Twenty minutes at a moderate pace seems to be the region of exercise intensity that systematically produces the effect,” Tomporowski said.

The article continued to detail more ways to stay focused when you feel overwhelmed or stressed.