Exercise Better for Kids' Brains Than Bodies

Now I'm really in trouble.

I have a couch potato (maybe call him a computer chair) kid who hardly ever goes outside and is as pale as unbleached flour. 

A new study says that kids who perform physical activity (or just run around) improve their academic standing and brain power, according to newswise.com.

The website reports that time taken away from lessons for physical activity is time well-spent and does not come at the cost of getting good grades, say the 24 signatories to a statement on physical activity in schools and during leisure time, published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The Statement, which distills the best available evidence on the impact of physical activity on children and young people, was drawn up by a panel of international experts with a wide range of specialisms, from the UK, Scandinavia, and North America, in Copenhagen, Denmark, in April of this year.

Now my son does play soccer for hours with friends when they're all available, but it's not every day, and he usually runs around and shoots goals into the net in our front yard, when he can.  But he still spends way too much time on the computer, though I suppose it's his generation's Woodstock.

The statement adds:

It says that:
• Physical activity and cardio-respiratory fitness are good for children's and young people's brain development and function as well as their intellect
• A session of physical activity before, during, and after school boosts academic prowess
• A single session of moderately energetic physical activity has immediate positive effects on brain function, intellect, and academic performance
• Mastery of basic movement boosts brain power and academic performance
• Time taken away from lessons in favour of physical activity does not come at the cost of getting good grades

But frequent moderate intensity and, to a lesser extent, low-intensity exercise will still help improve kids' heart health and their metabolism, while physical activity is a key component of the treatment of many long term conditions in 6-18 year olds, newswise.com explains.

So the next time you want your kid to get good grades, tell him to run around in the sunshine!



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