"You can't learn difficult material while you're exercising at high intensity because blood is shunted away from the prefrontal cortex, and this hampers your executive function. However, blood flow shifts back almost immediately after you finish exercising and this is the perfect time to focus on a project that demands sharp thinking and complex analysis."
“Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain” Dr. John Ratey
In his book, Ratey cited a 2007 study that showed cognitive flexibility - our ability to shift thinking and produce a steady flow of creative thoughts and answers (as opposed to a regurgitation of the usual responses) - improves after just one 35-minute treadmill session at either 60 percent or 70 percent maximum heart rate. The researchers had 40 adults (age 50 to 64) rattle off alternative uses for common objects like a newspaper. Half of them watched a movie and the other half exercised. They were tested before the session, immediately after and again twenty minutes later. The movie watchers showed no change, but the runners improved their processing speed and cognitive flexibility after just one workout. “So if you have an important afternoon brainstorming session scheduled, going for a short, intense run (or ride) during lunchtime is a good idea” Ratey wrote. Other studies also showed that exercise will reduce stress, lift your mood, and fight memory loss.
The impact of this research is potentially huge. Just think, some day it may be commonplace for businesses to encourage even top executives to ride to work so they are sharper and more creative when they get there, or when kids diagnosed with ADD ride to school rather than take Ritalin. Every bike we sell is making someone’s life better.