Fitness & Health, Sport & Exercise Science

Yoga better than aerobics for improving mental performance

Hot YogaDespite an increase in those having a yoga exercise regime, little research exists on the relationship between yoga exercise and its effect on cognitive function.

A new study, published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, examined the effects of an acute yoga exercise session, relative to aerobic exercise, on cognitive performance and came up with some surprising results.

In the study, 30 female university-aged participants completed three counterbalanced testing sessions: a yoga exercise session, an aerobic exercise session and a baseline assessment.

The results showed that cognitive performance after the yoga exercise bout was significantly superior (ie, shorter reaction times, increased accuracy) as compared with the aerobic and baseline conditions for both inhibition and working memory tasks.

What is more, the results revealed that there was little difference between aerobic and baseline performance, contradicting some of the previous findings that aerobic exercise significantly increased mental performance.

Source: The Journal of Physical Activity


  1. I do agree with this article. Yoga is really beneficial for not only improving mental performance but also it gives peace in mind. It refresh the mind and improve the level of patience. I have been practicing yoga since from last 2 years and I have found great changes in my life.

  2. Rosacea Treated says

    I agree. I think a lot of benefits come from the emphasis on breathing. A lot of us are shallow breathers these days. Taking time to increase the oxygen flow around the body and fully expel the carbon dioxide is like the physical version of dusting out the cobwebs and it helps the body function properly.

  3. AFNFitness says

    Great post. I wish more people were familiar with the mental benefits of practising yoga.

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