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Have you been wondering which exercise is best to boost brain power? The cognitive effect of regular aerobic exercise is well known to enhance mental performance.

But have you ever thought about yoga?

Yes, yoga is currently a very popular as a way of maintaining flexibility and core strength and its focus on the breath adds in the additional meditative benefits. But did you know that a twenty-minute yoga session has been shown to sharpen your thinking more than a twenty-minute session of jogging or walking!

Why should this be?
The authors of the study that made this finding believe it is because of the meditative effect, which by reducing stress and anxiety levels and enhanced self-awareness, boosts cognitive scores.

So next time you are scheduling your exercise routine for the week, why not add in a couple of short yoga sessions as well. Your brain will thank you for it.

Gothe N1, Pontifex MB, Hillman C, McAuley E. The acute effects of yoga on executive function. J Phys Act Health. 2013 May;10(4):488-95. Epub 2012 Jul 9.

Dr Jenny Brockis

Dr Jenny Brockis is a medical practitioner and internationally board-certified lifestyle medicine physician, workplace health and wellbeing consultant, podcaster, keynote speaker and best-selling author. Her new book 'Thriving Mind: How to Cultivate a Good Life' (Wiley) is available online and at all good bookstores.

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