Here's another reason to get your kids off the couch and into the backyard, pool, or sports field this summer: A new study shows that being physically fit could help kids become better readers.
The study from the University of Illinois found that physically fit kids actually had faster and more robust neuro-electrical brain responses while they were reading than kids who weren't as fit. By measuring kids' brain activity, researchers found that fitter children showed brain signals that corresponded to better reading performance and language comprehension.
Although researchers say they're still not sure about the causes of the improved brain function, this is just the latest of many studies linking physical activity and fitness to improved cognition and healthy brain function.
For instance, brand-new research from Spain published in The Journal of Pediatrics found that physically fit students actually had better grades, leading researchers to conclude that "cardiorespiratory capacity and motor ability, both independently and combined, may have a beneficial influence on academic performance in youth."
And the benefits of physical fitness on brain health don't just apply to kids. A study from conducted by researchers at the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas found that a physical exercise regimen helps healthy, aging adults improve their memory.
So get out there! Run, walk, bike, cartwheel, swim, and skip your way to better grades and a sharper mind.
How do you help your children stay physically fit?
Alex is a freelance lifestyle writer and sometimes-blogger. She loves spending time with her husband and five-year-old daughter, who are always willing to sample her kitchen successes (homemade taco seasoning) and failures (homemade mozzarella). She also loves to write, travel, cook, eat, and laugh loudly with friends.