Want to Raise Healthy and Smart Children?

Then don't allow them to be couch potatoes. Exercise, it turns out, does more than benefit the body and overall health -- physical fitness builds smarter brains in youngsters, too.

That's the news from a study just published in the journal Brain Research. Scientists used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure the relative size of specific structures in the brains of 49 children, all of whom were 9 or 10 years old. The research team discovered that the hippocampus (part of the brain inside the temporal lobe that plays an important part in memory and learning) tended to be significantly larger in the kids who were physically fit. What's more, the fit children performed better on a memory test than youngsters the same age who were out of shape.

"This is the first study I know of that has used MRI measures to look at differences in brains between kids who are fit and kids who aren't fit. Beyond that, it relates those measures of brain structure to cognition," Art Kramer, Ph.D. U. of Illinois  

Posted on October 12, 2015 and filed under fitness.