Does Exercise Makes You Smarter?

I recently read this article in Fast Company titled: “Working Out Doesn’t Just Make You Stronger, It Makes You Smarter.” There are great infographics involved that help to tell the story. The article really made me think. I am not that old, but I do remember what it was like to grow up without a television. I am not going to go on and on about how I had to walk 5 miles to school (I did not have to), but I will tell you that times have changed and I do not think it is a good thing. We used to be outside, get dirty, play in creeks, ride our bikes, the list goes on. We did not sit in front of the television for hours during the sunlight portion of the day. We used our bodies, worked our muscles, got scraps and burns and war wounds. We were ACTIVE!

These days between televisions, video games (um Angry Birds can suck you in for hours), and not to mention iPads kids have so many excuses for not going outside. Their brains are highly wired for the mechanical. Yes, they learn lots of great problem solving skills, competition, and how to find their way around a computer, game, and app. What I worry is that they have lost their creativity. Whatever happened to getting lost in the woods and playing tag? Does that bore the minds of today’s youth? It sort of scares me. The statistics in this quote from the article are shocking:

“Children–who should be buzzing about with so much energy that we have to ask them not to exercise–aren’t moving around that much anymore. (Ironically, part of the problem is the diminished role of phys ed in many public schools.) Only one in four children get 30 minutes of daily exercise, and by the time they’re teenagers, only 12% are getting their daily recommended amount of physical activity.”

Only 12% of children get the daily recommended amount of physical activity. Only 12%. What are we going to do to change this? As mentioned in the above article, exercise stimulates brain cell growth. I like that. It is a quick reminder that we need to move to think better. I believe it. I feel more clear and less sluggish when I have worked out, when I have moved. I am sharper, clearer, and ready to tackle the issues in my thought.

Parting words from the article today: “Fitter Body, Fitter Mind.”

3 thoughts on “Does Exercise Makes You Smarter?

  1. Completely agree. One of my favourite things about reading people’s blogs is reading stories of families who engage in athletic activities, together. Kids running 1k races, and the parent’s running the 5,10, or half marathon. What a great way to introduce activity to kids, and a great learning experience for the mind and the body. On another note, several times I have gone out for my daily run, and have had a few kids start running with me. Last week it occurred. It was so cute, as a boy (around 7yrs) started running beside me. Before I knew it, I checked behind me, and granny was way out in the distance. I stopped as this little tyke was raring to go. We waited for gran to catch up before parting ways. Kids have so much energy, we just need to guide them into using it in positive ways.

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