Thursday, February 10, 2011

Kids Fat and/or Dumb? Make them Exercise

Being fat and lazy isn't just bad for your health, it's bad for your brain.

MRIs showed those who exercised experienced increased brain activity in the prefrontal cortex — an area associated with complex thinking, decision making and correct social behavior – and decreased activity in an area of the brain that sits behind it. The shift forward appears consistent with more rapidly developing cognitive skills, Davis said.

And the more they exercised, the better the result. Intelligence scores increased an average 3.8 points in those exercising 40 minutes per day after school for three months with a smaller benefit in those exercising 20 minutes daily...

Similar improvements were seen in math skills; interestingly, no improvements were found in reading skill. Researchers note that improved math achievement was “remarkable” since no math lessons were given and suggests longer intervention could produce even better results.

Children in the exercise program played hard, with running games, hula hoops and jump ropes, raising their heart rates to 79 percent of maximum, which is considered vigorous.
We now have rock hard science showing that physical activity makes children smarter AND healthier, yet our schools insist on teaching them how to sit still for hours at a time.

How did we get so stupid?


Oh yeah...

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