We've talked a lot about how a short workout during the day can give you a nice jolt of energy to get you through the afternoon. But, it turns out it can boost your brain power too. A 20-minute yoga session can help you get focused.
The study, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, tested 30 volunteers in a session that compared a short yoga workout with aerobic exercise for an equal period. The participants were split into two equal groups, one doing the yoga exercise and the other doing the aerobic exercise. They were then tested for mental function following their respective workouts, and those who engaged in yoga performed better.
"It appears that following yoga practice, the participants were better able to focus their mental resources, process information quickly, more accurately and also learn, hold and update pieces of information more effectively than after performing an aerobic exercise bout," lead author Neha Gothe said.
It is still unclear why yoga helps to boost brain power, but researchers speculate that it has something to do with the breathing exercises and meditation that are part of a regular yoga session.
"Meditation and breathing exercises are known to reduce anxiety and stress, which in turn can improve scores on some cognitive tests," Gothe noted.
So if you want make sure your afternoons are highly efficient, take 20 minutes out of your lunch hour for a short yoga session.