The Motivation Factor

By Dr. Mercola

Research1 has convincingly demonstrated that the more physically active children and teenagers are, the better they do academically. As noted by the authors of a 2012 scientific review:

“Physical activity and sports are generally promoted for their positive effect on children’s physical health … There is also a growing body of literature suggesting that physical activity has beneficial effects on several mental health outcomes … In addition … there is a strong belief that regular participation in physical activity is linked to enhancement of brain function and cognition, thereby positively influencing academic performance.”

Several mechanisms that help explain why physical activity benefits cognition have been proposed. For starters, exercise increases blood and oxygen flow to your brain, which in and of itself increases learning speed.2 Exercise also increases levels of norepinephrine and endorphins, which lowers stress and improves mood. Importantly, exercise triggers growth factors that


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