Rawpixel.com/shutterstockThe benefits of exercise are well-known, but a new study has found a notable perk for children who break a sweat. No, it has nothing to do with burning calories or even boosting metabolism, although those benefits come from exercise anyway. For kids, specifically, short bursts of exercise does wonders for their brain power.
Researchers from the University of Auckland took a look at the effects that regular aerobic exercise played in the cognitive function of a group of 318 children, aged 7-13. The kids were given tasks in memory and cognition control then randomly assigned to a placebo-controlled group or put through a HIIT regimen. The high-intensity training (HITT) regimen consisted of 10-minute bursts of intense workouts each day for six weeks.
The revealing findings showed that the kids in the HIIT group showed a significant boost in both assessment categories. “‘Our findings highlight the potency of short but intense physical workouts and suggest that aerobic exercise is not the sole means to improve brain power,” says lead researcher Dr. David Moreau.
While the study’s authors emphasize that exercise shouldn’t be seen as the only remedy for cognitive deficits, it certainly “is one of the most beneficial and non-invasive ways of enhancing cognition.” In other words, get your kid off the couch and moving ASAP, and you’ll have a budding genius on your hands. As the study shows, even 10 minutes of exercise a day goes a long way.
Besides it’s a way better option than those brain game scams. And when given the option between flash cards and flash dancing, the latter is way more fun, isn’t it? This just adds to the running list of positive things that exercise can do for your body.