If you had the chance to ensure that your kids would be smarter than most, and all it would take was some commitment, would you do it? For a long time now researchers have believed that exercise improves ones ability to think. It makes sense that increasing ones circulation would also increase blood flow to the brain, therefore, improving performance. Well now there has been recent research at various institutes to back this theory.

Studies conducted by the Psych Dept. at the University of Arizona back in 2004, illustrated hippocampal volume determined by MRI and poor memory ability went hand and hand with neurological patients. Another study conducted by the University of Bergen in 2009 illustrated this volume size was an importance predictor of memory function in the elderly female. Yet, another study conducted on Sweden men that had entered the military that were aerobically physically fit versus strength training predicted cognitive performance in 18 year olds. This difference was even apparent among twins with different levels of physical fitness. Researchers believe that aerobic exercise may encourage the production of specific growth factors and proteins that stimulate the brain.

Just recently the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, released their newest findings on the role of aerobic exercise and brain function. This study explored the correlation between basal ganglia structure and function and childhood aerobic fitness. The result of these studies concluded that the greater the volume of the hippocampal increased performance on task and elevated event related brain potential indices. The results of these studies illustrates the relationship between an active lifestyle and neurocognitive benefits. These studies also demonstrates the implications of obesity and a sedentary lifestyle on our youth.

Other studies that have been conducted suggest that even 10 to 20 minutes of aerobic activity just before taking a test results in improved outcomes opposed to playing a video game or watching a movie. Taking all of this into consideration, it leads us to realize that physical education needs to be reimplimented into the cirrculum in our public schools. That being said, we need to take an active role in ensuring that our children receive an adequate amount of exercise each day. Their diets and lifestyle should be our utmost concern to guarantee that they receive all the advantages that we can offer. This is something that doesn't cost money, but requires our devotion and commitment to their future. So I say to the parents, get out there and put your ball glove on and get those kids to moving. With a little bit of time and exercise, we will all get smarter together.