Effects of 12 weeks of aerobic exercise combined with resistance training on neurocognitive performance in obese women

Huei Jhen Wen, Shu Hsin Liu, Chia Liang Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background/Objectives: To the best of our knowledge, there have been no previous studies conducted on the long-term effects of an exercise intervention on deficits in inhibitory control in obese individuals. The aim of this study was thus to examine the effect of 12 weeks of a combination of aerobic and resistance exercise on behavioral and cognitive electrophysiological performance involving cognitive interference inhibition in obese individuals. Methods: Thirty-two qualified healthy obese women were randomly divided into either an exercise group (EG, age: 34.76 ± 5.52 years old; BMI: 29.35 ± 3.52 kg/m2) or a control group (CG, age: 33.84 ± 7.05 years old; BMI: 29.61 ± 4.31 kg/m2). All participants performed the Stroop task, with electrophysiological signals being collected simultaneously before and after a 12-week intervention. The estimated V̇O2max, muscular strength, and body fat percentage (measured with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) were also assessed within one week before and after the intervention. Participants in the EG group engaged in 30 min of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise combined with resistance exercise, 5 sessions per week for 12 weeks, while the participants in the CG group maintained their regular lifestyle without engaging in any type of exercise. Results: The results revealed that although a 12-week exercise intervention did not enhance the behavioral indices [e.g., accuracy rates (ARs) and reaction times (RTs)] in the EG group, significantly shorter N2 and P3 latencies and greater P2 and P3 amplitudes were observed. Furthermore, the fat percentage distribution (e.g. total body fat %, trunk fat %, and leg fat %) and level of physical fitness (e.g. estimated V̇O2max and muscular strength) in the EG group were significantly improved. The changes prior to and after the intervention in the P3 amplitude and trunk fat percentage were significantly negatively correlated in the EG group (r = −0.521, p = 0.039). Conclusions: These findings suggested that 12 weeks of aerobic exercise combined with resistance exercise in obese women affects cognitive function broadly, but not specifically in terms of inhibitory control. The percentage of decreased trunk fat may play a potential facilitating role in inhibition processing in obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-304
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Exercise Science and Fitness
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Oct

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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