Dec 5, 2009

Fit Kids Make Smart Adults

As most of you know I am into health, fitness and education so I thought I would share this with you:

I loved the latest blog post from
Joyce Cherrier’s Blog
Empowering People to be Healthy and Fit And Having Fun While Doing It!

I follow her on Twitter and her blog, she knows her stuff!

Fit Kids Make Smart Adults
There are dozens of articles about all the physical and mental reaosns to get fit. Almost on a daily basis a new study comes out, giving another compelling reason to be healthy. As an adult we make the decision every day to either move towards being healthy or away from health. That’s our choice. But what about our kids? Is it really fair to short change them because we lack motivation to get healthy? I really believe it’s our responsibility to give them opportunity to be their very best. I won’t even begin to go into a rant about obese children. They eat what we give them. As adults we set the table. Now a study shows evidence that not only does exercise affect a child physically but also mentally.

In this article in ScienceDaily a study showed a connection between young adults exercising and their I.Q. Here’s what the study found: Young adults who are fit have a higher IQ and are more likely to go on to university, reveals a major new study carried out at the Sahlgrenska Academy and Sahlgrenska University Hospital.

The study shows a clear link between good physical fitness and better results for the IQ test. The strongest links are for logical thinking and verbal comprehension. But it is only fitness that plays a role in the results for the IQ test, and not strength. “Being fit means that you also have good heart and lung capacity and that your brain gets plenty of oxygen,” says Michael Nilsson, professor at the Sahlgrenska Academy and chief physician at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital. “This may be one of the reasons why we can see a clear link with fitness, but not with muscular strength. We are also seeing that there are growth factors that are important.”

“We have also shown that those youngsters who improve their physical fitness between the ages of 15 and 18 increase their cognitive performance,” says Maria Åberg, researcher at the Sahlgrenska Academy and physician at Åby health centre. “This being the case, physical education is a subject that has an important place in schools, and is an absolute must if we want to do well in maths and other theoretical subjects.”

Based on this study the link seems to be about oxygen and the brain. Great incentive to walk the dog and take the kids when you do. Or maybe they can mow the lawn and shovel the driveway. I think I dreamed about that once. A bike ride on an afternoon is a great way to get some cardio time in. I also suggest a DVD by the creator of Insanity called Shaun T’s Fit Kids Club. Great for a winter day when outside is not an option.

The whole family can get involved and it can be used as quality time. It’s an investment in your child’s future. It also sets good habits in motion. And fitness is contagious. Before you know it, the whole family will be involved. I remember as a kid my mom telling me to get off my duff and go outside and get some fresh air. Of course she never said it would make me smarter. I’m sure she would have liked that in her arsenal. Now we parents, needing a break as we do sometimes, can say, “Go outside and play, you’ll get in a good college!” I’m really hoping one of these studies come out about cleaning bedrooms, doing their own laundry and washing dishes.