children

Get your children away from the TV - Physical fitness makes smarter brains

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 by: S. L. Baker, features writer
Tags: children, television, health news

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
CDC issues flu vaccine apology: this year's vaccine doesn't work!
Biologist explains how marijuana causes tumor cells to commit suicide
Depopulation test run? 75% of children who received vaccines in Mexican town now dead or hospitalized
Companies begin planting microchips under employees' skin
BAM! Chipotle goes 100% non-GMO; flatly rejecting the biotech industry and its toxic food ingredients
U2's Bono partners with Monsanto to destroy African agriculture with GMOs
NJ cops bust teenagers shoveling snow without a permit
Russia throws down the gauntlet: energy supply to Europe cut off; petrodollar abandoned as currency war escalates
McDonald's in global profit free fall as people everywhere increasingly reject chemically-altered toxic fast food
Chemotherapy kills cancer patients faster than no treatment at all
March Against Monsanto explodes globally... World citizens stage massive protests across 38 countries, 428 cities... mainstream media pretends it never happened
Why flu shots are the greatest medical fraud in history
600 strains of an aerosolized thought control vaccine already tested on humans; deployed via air, food and water
Italian court rules mercury and aluminum in vaccines cause autism: US media continues total blackout of medical truth
Flu vaccine kills 13 in Italy; death toll rises
The 21 curious questions we're never allowed to ask about vaccines
Vicious attack on Dr. Oz actually waged by biotech mafia; plot to destroy Oz launched after episode on glyphosate toxicity went viral
Whooping cough outbreak at Massachusetts high school affected only vaccinated students

Delicious
(NaturalNews) 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," University of Illinois psychology professor and Beckman Institute director Art Kramer said in a statement to the media. Dr. Kramer headed the study along with doctoral student Laura Chaddock and kinesiology and community health professor Charles Hillman.

The researchers zeroed in on the hippocampus because it has long been known this brain structure is intricately involved in both learning and memory and that a larger hippocampus is associated with better performance on spatial reasoning and other cognitive tasks. Moreover, previous research in older adults and animals has shown that exercise can increase the size of the hippocampus.

For the new study, the University of Illinois scientists measured the children's physical fitness levels by seeing how efficiently the youngsters used oxygen while running on a treadmill. "The physically fit children were much more efficient than the less-fit children at utilizing oxygen," Dr. Kramer noted.

When the researchers analyzed the MRI data on the young research subjects, they found the fit kids tended to have significantly larger hippocampal volume. In fact, this part of the physical fit kids' brains was a whopping 12 percent bigger, relative to total brain size, than the hippocampus in out-of-shape youngsters. What's more, the children who were in better physical condition also scored higher on tests of relational memory (the ability to remember and integrate various types of information) than their less-fit peers.

"Higher fit children had higher performance on the relational memory task, higher fit children had larger hippocampal volumes, and in general, children with larger hippocampal volumes had better relational memory," Dr. Chaddock concluded in the media statement.

"We knew that experience and environmental factors and socioeconomic status all impact brain development," Dr. Kramer added. "If you get some lousy genes from your parents, you can't really fix that, and it's not easy to do something about your economic status. But here's something that we can do something about."

Bottom line: getting children out of the house and playing sports, biking or being physically active in other ways could have an important effect on brain development and even intelligence.

For more information:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20735996

Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.