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Exercise Helps Overweight Children Think Better

Regular exercise improves the ability of overweight children to think, plan and even do math, according to recent research.

MRIs have shown that previously inactive children who start to exercise experience increased brain activity in the prefrontal cortex, an area associated with complex thinking, decision making and correct social behavior.  The more they exercise, the better the result.

Eurekalert reports:

“Intelligence scores increased an average 3.8 points in those exercising 40 minutes per day after school for three months with a smaller benefit in those exercising 20 minutes daily.  Activity in the part of their brain responsible for so-called executive function also increased in children who exercised ... Similar improvements were seen in math skills”.

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