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Physical Activity Boosts Kid’s Brain Power

By , SparkPeople Blogger
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?