Acute effect of three different exercise training modalities on executive function in overweight inactive men : The BrainFit study

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Quintero Gacharná, Andrea del Pilar; Magíster en actividad física y salud
Facultad de medicina
Cognitive function; Attention capacity; Inhibition; Obesity; Inactivity; Physical exercise; 153; Cognición; Educación física; Entrenamiento atlético
thesis / dissertation description
There is currently a consensus about the positive effects of physical exercise on cognition. However, the exercise intensity-dependent effect on executive function remains unclear. Thus, the aim of this study was to compare the acute effects of high-intensity aerobic interval training (HIIT), resistance training (RT), or combined training (RT+ HIIT) on executive function indicators in overweight inactive men adults (age 18–30 years old). The participants were screened and excluded for medical conditions known to impact cognitive functioning, and that was measured with Moca test screening cognitive. Randomized, parallel-group clinical trial among 36 adults were randomly assigned to a HIIT, RT, RT+HIIT, and a control group (n=10) until the energy expenditure of 400-500 kcal. Cognitive inhibition and attention capacity were examined using Stroop Test and d2 Test of Attention respectively, were obtained pre-exercise for baseline measurement and immediately 1-min post-exercise for each exercise training modalities. Cognitive inhibition measured as Stroop test was improved after HIIT protocol for the reading +5.89(η2=0.33), colors naming +9.0(η2=0.60), interference +10.1 (η2=0.39) and index interference domain +6.0(η2=0.20). Additionally, the RT+HIIT group had an increase +7.1(η2=0.40) for the reading condition, colors naming +7.5(η2=0.80), and interference +5.8(η2=0.39). In regard to attentional capacity, the HIIT group elicit moderate to large improvements the concentration levels domain +21.7(η2=0.44), item processed domain +56.6 (η2=0.50), and % errors -3.0(η2=0.27). These results were similar in RT and RT+HIIT group on concentration levels and item processed domain(P<0.05). In conclusion, acute HIIT and RT+HIIT session reported moderate to large effect sizes than RT alone for cognitive inhibition and attention capacity. Taken together, the results suggest that even short-term exercise interventions can enhance overweight adults’ executive functions.