Exercise Improves Mental Focus and Concentration

One’s performance in various fields is based mainly on the ability to concentrate on the task assigned and to remain focused until it is accomplished. A sound mind and body is the essential requirement for better mental focus.

Regular aerobic exercise training has been found to be beneficial not only in improving the physical aspect but also that of the mind. Aerobic exercise has been advised for various disorders that affect mood and concentration. Beta-endorphin, a substance which is produced by the pituitary gland that changes the perception of pain and mood in a positive manner, enables the individual to perform better. Regular aerobic exercise has demonstrated increased levels of beta-endorphin in individuals. In one study, improvements in mood were noted from a single exercise session in certain affected individuals.1,2

A study at the University of Wollongong, Australia concluded that that regular aerobic exercises improved vigor while decreasing fatigue, tension and depression. Hence, the clear mind and a healthy body helps one to focus on the task assigned in a better manner thereby improving the ability to work.3

A study conducted by researchers Davranche and McMorris at the Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences Department, University of Chichester, UK, has found that cognitive processes related to aspects such as awareness, perception, reasoning, and judgment were differently affected by acute or moderate exercise. The study noted that individuals were able to perform cognitive tasks in a better manner when combined with exercise.4,5 Therefore, regular aerobic exercise not only has benefit on general health but also improves mental functions.


  1. Schwarz L, Kindermann W. Changes in Beta-endorphin Levels in Response to Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercise. Sports Med. 1992; 13(1): 25–36.
  2. Hoffman MD, Hoffman DR. Does Aerobic Exercise Improve Pain
  3. Perception and Mood? A Review of the Evidence Related to Healthy and Chronic Pain Subjects. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2007; 11(2): 93–97.
  4. Anshel MH, Russell KG. Effect of Aerobic and Strength Training on Pain Tolerance, Pain Appraisal and Mood of Unfit Males as a Function of Pain Location. J Sports Sci. 1994; 12(6): 535–547.
  5. Davranche K, McMorris T. Specific Effects of Acute Moderate Exercise on Cognitive Control. Brain Cogn. 2009 Jan 10.

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