Physical Activity Found to Boost Test Scores, Brain Function

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Need more motivation to supercharge your new years resolution in order to keep up with your new workout routine? New research has found that physical exercise can actually boost your brainpower, leading to higher grades and test scores in children who routinely participate in some form of exercise. This is in addition to the powerful anti-cancer benefits of routine physical exercise.

Taking 14 previous studies from across the world examining the link between exercise and academic performance, Dutch researchers reviewed the findings and published their report in the journal Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. The study authors were led by Amika Singh from the Vrije Universiteit University Medical Center’s EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research in Amsterdam, who summarized the study data and the subsequent relationship between physical activity and improved brain function.

According to Singh, the information from the studies “suggests there is a significant positive relationship between physical activity and academic performance.”

The Relationship Between Exercise and Increased Brain Function

Singh’s team did not fully examine the reasons behind the brain boost; the authors cited previous research in offering a number of possibilities. They stated that the powerful effect on the brain may be related to a number of factors including increased flow of blood and oxygen to the brain as well as higher levels of mood-boosting chemicals.

The findings are in line with previous reviews, such as a 2010 literature review conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC analyzed 50 studies, and reported that more than half showed a positive relationship between school-based physical activity and academic performance. This includes physical education class, recess, and extracurricular sports. As a result, memory, self-esteem, and verbal skills were all found to be improved as a result of the physical activity.

“School boards, school administrators and principals can feel confident that maintaining or increasing time dedicated for physical activity during the school day will not have a negative impact on academic performance, and it may positively impact students’ academic performance,” the CDC’s authors wrote.

In just as little as 15 minutes of exercise per day, you can increase your lifespan by 3 years and boost your brain function.