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Stronger Muscles Increases Kid’s Memory Skills

Here’s yet another reason to make sure your kids are active: New research shows those with stronger muscles may have better working memory.

Evaluating 79 children between the ages of 9 and 11, scientists said they found that muscle fitness was directly related to a more accurate memory. The results also reinforced established research linking kids’ aerobic fitness to better thinking skills and academic performance.

“There are multiple ways children can derive benefit from exercise … to build healthy bodies as well as healthy minds,” said study co-author Charles Hillman. He’s a professor of psychology and health sciences at Northeastern University in Boston. “We know that kids are becoming increasingly inactive, overweight and unfit,” Hillman added. “So, it’s important to take studies like these … to basically indicate the benefit of physical activity and the importance of it.”

Physical Activity in Children

Only 1 in 3 children in the United States is physically active every day, according to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. One contributor is the 7.5 hours per day, on average, that children spend in front of a screen — whether it be TV, video games, computers or the like.

Children taking part in the study completed both aerobic fitness and muscular fitness assessments, including upper body, lower body and core exercises. Additionally, their working memory and academic achievement were measured by various tests.

Hillman and his colleagues found that participants with higher levels of aerobic fitness also scored higher on tests of memory and mathematics. But a new insight was gleaned with the finding that muscle fitness was directly linked to memory performance — though not academic performance. Hillman emphasized that the muscle fitness tests used in the research resembled the kinds of activity kids take part in regularly — not lifting large weights.

“It wasn’t pure strength the way that running is pure cardio,” Hillman explained, “in the sense that they were doing high volume [repetitions] and low weights. Much was body movement, such as pushups and squats or lifting light medicine balls. We were trying to mimic the way kids would typically be active.”

Working memory in both boys and girls appeared to benefit equally from greater muscle fitness, he noted.

Hillman said scientists aren’t sure how greater muscle fitness would work to enhance memory. Drawing from the results of animal research, he theorized that muscle fitness could help connections develop between brain neurons.

Dr. Bradley Sandella, fellowship director for sports medicine at Christiana Care Health System in Wilmington, Del., said the new findings provided information he could use in his own practice.

“I think we always think about the benefit of physical activity on overall health, but not specifically for cognitive function,” Sandella said. “This is something I can use to motivate students, but also parents of students, to become more physically active. Not only do we know it’s good for physical development, but also that it’s good for cognitive development.”

He cautioned, however, that the study was preliminary and that long-term research is needed to determine any effects of muscle fitness on academic performance. The study also did not prove that stronger muscles caused memory to improve.

The study was published recently in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

SOURCES: Charles Hillman, Ph.D., professor, psychology and health sciences, Northeastern University, Boston; Bradley Sandella, D.O., fellowship director, sports medicine, Christiana Care Health System, Wilmington, Del.; April 2017 issue, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise

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Additional Topics: Whole Body Wellness

Maintaining overall health and wellness through a balanced nutrition, regular physical activity and proper sleep is essential for your whole body’s well-being. While these are some of the most important contributing factors for staying healthy, seeking care and preventing injuries or the development of conditions through natural alternatives can also guarantee overall health and wellness. Chiropractic care is a safe and effective treatment option utilized by many individuals to ensure whole body wellness.

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    The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

    We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

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    email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

    phone: 915-850-0900

    Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*

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The information herein on "Stronger Muscles Increases Kid's Memory Skills" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez DC or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.

Blessings

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email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*

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