By Ken Reed
The mountain of evidence correlating physical fitness and brain health is about as high as Everest these days.
And it keeps growing.
A new study published last month in Scientific Reports revealed that the more fit young adults were (mostly in their 20’s) the more robust their white matter looked and the better they did on memory and thinking skills tests.
“Even at a young age, physical fitness has beneficial effects not just on the body, but also on brain health and brain functioning,” said Dr. Jonathan Repple, a psychiatrist and neuroscience researcher at the University of Munster in Germany, who oversaw the study.
The research project found that relatively out-of-shape young people generally fared worse on memory and cognitive skills tests. Their brain scans also showed white matter that was slightly weaker and more frayed than in the brains of the young people who were in better shape physically.
Cardiovascular-based exercise is one of the best things young people can do for their physical, mental and emotional health. Yet, K-12 schools across the United States continue the disturbing trend of cutting recess, physical education classes and intramural sports opportunities.
As the evidence grows that physically fit children are healthier, perform better academically and have fewer behavioral problems, the number of physical activity options in our schools shrinks.
Is this not a case of educational malpractice?
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of FansPrint
- "How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- Ken Reed's Author Page on Amazon
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
A League of Fans Special Report