Time to move your body (Picture: Getty)

We’ve all experienced that. You’re sitting at your desk desperately trying to type an email, but your brain has just gone to a pulp.

So you get up, maybe do a tour of the office, maybe hide in a bathroom stall for five minutes, and flip through your phone before making coffee and filling your water bottle so you feel like you can focus again.

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What if we told you there was a more effective antidote than this?

Recently, in a unique experiment, ASICS invited competitive players from around the world (who specialize in mind games such as chess and e-sports and rely on their cognitive function) to start a training program.

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The program included moderate cardio and strength training and increased exercise levels to 150 minutes per week, or just 21 minutes per day.

And it just goes to show that you don’t have to live in the gym to reap the benefits of vigorous exercise.

Concentration was significantly improved with just 21 minutes of exercise a day (Photo: Getty Images)

The results after just four months of regular training concluded that the mind was significantly sharpened and the participants performed at an even higher level of competition.

In fact, their international gaming rankings improved by a whopping 75% – further proof of the close connection between mind and body.

Cognitive function improved by an average of 10%, problem solving by 9%, short-term memory by 12%, and processing speed and attention by 10%.

Group confidence also increased by 44%, concentration improved by 33% and anxiety levels decreased by 43%.

Research shows that exercise can be just as effective at boosting brain function as learning a second language, reading daily, playing a new musical instrument, or solving a puzzle every day.

150 minutes of exercise a week is all you need to improve your cognitive function

150 minutes of exercise a week is all you need to improve your cognitive function (Photo: Getty Images)

Professor Brendon Stubbs, who led the experiment, commented on the results: “We all know that exercise is good for our mental and physical health, but its effects on cognitive function have been less studied.

“We wanted to study the effects of sport on people who rely on their cognitive abilities – competitive thinkers.

“Our results show significant improvements in their cognitive function, including concentration and problem solving.

“Exercise stimulates cell growth in the brain and rapidly increases blood flow to the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, mechanisms that allow us to better retain memories, process information and solve problems quickly.

If practice can vastly improve the mental capacity of professional mind gamers, imagine what it could do for the rest of us.

“From increasing focus while practicing for an exam or improving attention for a work presentation, exercise can really improve brain performance.”

Professor Stubbs not only showed that exercise improved cognitive function and gaming ability, but also found that players’ mental well-being improved significantly, with the average mood score improving by 31%.

This mental score was 58 below average at the start of the study and 76 at the end.

Do you notice that exercising helps you to concentrate?answer now