Monday, November 29, 2010

Exercise and Children's Learning and Memory

Exercise is good for kids’ health–and their heads. Research shows fit kids have bigger brain areas associated with learning and memory.

Another reason to get your kids moving: physical activity could have a significant effect on brain development. A study in nine- and ten-year-olds shows that children who are the most physically fit tend to perform better than their less-fit peers on memory tests.

The research also shows that kids who regularly exercise have a bigger hippocampus – an area of the brain that is important in learning and memory. Previous research has also shown that exercise can increase the size of the hippocampus.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends that all children and adolescents get an hour or more of physical activity every day. Bring them to the park where they can run around and play on jungle gyms, go for walks or bike rides with them, or play active games like tag or softball.

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