The more you exercise, the smarter you get
By Les Tan/Red Sports
If you are suffering “death by homework” and have no time to get out and run about, you might want to read this. Research shows that exercise makes your brains larger and helps you concentrate, leading to better test scores.
A research study revealed that 9- and 10-year-olds showed better complex memory if they had aerobic exercises.
“Consistent with predictions, higher-fit children showed greater bilateral hippocampal volumes and superior relational memory task performance compared to lower-fit children,” wrote the researchers.
The hippocampus is the part of the brain that helps in long-term memory and spatial navigation.
A separate study showed exercise helped in concentration.
“The findings suggest that increased childhood aerobic fitness is associated with greater dorsal striatal volumes and that this is related to enhanced cognitive control,” according to the researchers.
A huge study involving over one million Swedish men also looked at the relationship between cardiovascular fitness and intelligence at age 18.
“Cardiovascular fitness, as measured by ergometer cycling, positively associated with intelligence,” wrote the researchers.
Interestingly, muscular fitness had no relationship with intelligence. In other words, pumping iron did nothing to improve test scores. Only cardiovascular activities like running which get heart rates up have a measured effect.
An ongoing University of Illinois study by kinesiology professor Charles Hillman is also showing that 20 minutes of sports-style video games like the Nintendo Wii have no effect on test scores. However, 20 minutes of treadmill running show an immediate effect, according to the New York Times.
In a society like ours where students are suffering “death by tuition” because of the obsession with grades, getting our youth sweating for half an hour every day is the cheaper solution to a smarter – and healthier – future generation.