Upon further investigation, researches found that those who exercised about 52 hours over a six-month period saw huge improvements in performance on various thinking and speed tests. This was the case for people without cognitive decline and those with only mild cognitive impairment or dementia.
The review did not find a relationship between a weekly amount of exercise and improved thinking skills.
"These results suggest that a longer-term exercise program may be necessary to gain the benefits in thinking skills," co-author Joyce Gomes-Osman said in a statement. "We were excited to see that even people who participated in lower-intensity exercise programs showed a benefit to their thinking skills. Not everyone has the endurance or motivation to start a moderately intense exercise program, but everyone can benefit even from a less-intense plan."
The researchers believe their “results may also provide further insight” for future investigations. They hope to find out which thinking abilities experience the greatest improvement with exercise. They’d also like to explore the short-term and long-term effects of exercise for both sedentary and physically fit people.