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How exercise makes you smarter

How exercise makes you smarter

Sure, exercise is great for your heart and for keeping your weight in check, but did you know it could make you smarter, too?

Check out some of the things we’ve learned after a recent whirl around the Web:

“The evidence is accumulating rapidly that exercise keeps the brain younger,” Dr. Mark Davis of the University of South Carolina recently told Scientific American. He and a team of researchers recently found that regular treadmill sessions boosted cell powerhouses in the brains of the mice they studied. It’s reasonable to think the same goes for humans, Dr. Davis said.

Researchers at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois also studied the connection between brain function and exercise in mice. Get this: they loaded up some of the mice with cool stuff — namely toys mice really like that would be a little like iPods and mobile phones for teens — and gave others only wheels to run on. As The New York Times reports: “Animals that didn’t run, no matter how enriched their world was otherwise, did not improve their brainpower in the complex, lasting ways that (the researchers were) studying.” In other words, “They loved the toys, but unless they also exercised, they did not become smarter,” lead researcher, psychologist Justin S. Rhodes, explained.

Colorado offers teens amazing opportunities to exercise. To find free programs, check in at your local rec center.

To fit in a little activity during your busy day, see these easy exercises for teens recommended by Children’s Hospital Colorado.

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