Physical Activity Boosts Kidís Brain Power

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
1/27/2012 10:00 AM   :  9 comments   :  9,606 Views

It’s amazing how competitive school has become since I was young.  I always felt a certain amount of pressure to work hard and get good grades, but with the rising costs of a college education, most families need a certain amount of financial help (i.e. scholarships) to make it possible.  Kids feel more pressure than ever to maintain a high G.P.A., and new research shows that exercise might help.  Can physical activity really boost brain power? 
 
The study, published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, analyzed fourteen studies (ranging from 50 to 12,000 children, ages 6-18.)  “The investigators noted that increases in blood and oxygen flow to the brain that accompanies exercise may play a role in improving classroom performance. The suggestion is that the dynamic prompts an increase in levels of hormones responsible for curtailing stress and boosting mood, while at the same time prompting the establishment of new nerve cells and synapse flexibility.”  Researchers found that kids who were more physically active had improved academic performance, compared to those who were less active.
 
The researchers acknowledge that additional studies need to further explore the relationship between physical activity and academics, and exactly how much is needed for optimal results.  Based on how exercise makes me feel, it’s easy to see how it could help kids in school.  I find that I have more energy, improved focus and less stress because of regular physical activity.  All of these benefits could translate to better concentration, and thereby, better performance in the classroom.  Not to mention, regular physical activity makes your heart stronger, helps prevent weight problems, etc.  So this is just one more benefit to add to the list.
 
Interested in more research about how Active Kids Do Better in School?  Learn more about how Kids Need Exercise Too!
 
What do you think?


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Comments

  • 9
    You do not have to be a jock to be active. Our boys did TaeKwonDo. It was outside of school activities so a lot of their class mates were unaware of what our boys participated in for a sport. What our boys took back to the class room was discipline, duty to their community, respect and pride in themselves. It showed up in their grades, how they treated their bodies and their attitudes towards their teachers. - 2/22/2012   12:45:49 AM
  • 8
    I have to disagree with JIBBIE49. The jock sterotype just doesn't apply anymore. The best students in my middle school are athletes and they are in the band too! - 1/29/2012   4:30:32 PM
  • CIRANDELLA
    7
    Probably an oversimplification, but there are lots of those out there... - 1/29/2012   12:00:27 PM
  • 6
    I feel like there could be some confounding factors. Kids who participate in after school activities such as sports are generally more motivated and driven in general. - 1/28/2012   7:54:06 PM
  • VANANDEL
    5
    One thing I observe about exercise is that it prevents or lightens most post-menopausal symptoms. Given that deals with hormones, I would think this would extend to teenagers who go through a lot of hormonal changes. Exercise is wonderful for any age, but even more so for those dealing with hormonal upheavals in life. - 1/28/2012   11:31:23 AM
  • SLEGAULT
    4
    My biggest concern would be those parents who are already pressuring their kids to study hard and perform at top levels now will have one more thing to pressure their kids to add to the agenda. I hope they also know that adequate rest and time to unwind are important factors in the total picture. I hate to think of kids carrying planners with no "me" time scheduled in. - 1/28/2012   8:28:21 AM
  • 3
    In my limited experience, it seems like cross-counrty running teams always have the highest grade point average among athletic teams in high school. - 1/28/2012   5:39:34 AM
  • SEPTLEFTY
    2
    My son wrestles and reads - 1/28/2012   1:11:44 AM
  • 1
    I am joking, so realize that, but as I read this I was thinking how the Football and Basketball "jocks" in school really aren't the smartest kids even in college. LOL Exercise is good, but if you check out the calculus class you will not find many who "hit the gym." LOL - 1/27/2012   11:28:18 AM

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