Physical fitness can make kids smarter, study says


London: Physical fitness in children can increase the volume of gray matter in specific regions of the brain, which in turn can improve their academic performance.

In particular, aerobic capacity is badociated with a greater volume of gray matter in regions important for executive function, as well as for learning, motor and visual processes.

The study, published in the journal NeuroImage, involved more than 100 overweight children.

"Our work aims to answer questions such as whether the brains of children with better physical condition are different from children with worse physical condition and if this affects their academic performance," said Francisco B Ortega, of the University of Granada in Spain.

"Physical fitness in children is directly linked to important differences in brain structure, and such differences are reflected in children's academic performance," said Ortega, who led the study.

Associated researchers or ability with greater volume of gray matter in two regions essential for processing and reading language: the inferior frontal gyrus and the superior temporal gyrus.

However, muscle strength showed no independent badociation with the volume of gray matter in any region of the brain. 19659002] The volume of gray matter in cortical and subcortical regions influenced by physical fitness in turn improves the academic performance of children, said Irene Esteban-Cornejo, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Granada.

In addition, "the physical condition is a factor that can be modified through physical exercise, and the combination of exercises that improve aerobic capacity and motor ability would be an effective approach to stimulate brain development and academic performance in children overweight / obese, "said Esteban-Cornejo.

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