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Natural Awakenings Atlanta

Boost Kids’ Learning Abilities with Exercise

Oct 29, 2021 09:30AM ● By Rachael Oppy
Kids sitting on edge of pool kicking splashes with beach in the background

Yulianto Poitier/

The right kind of exercise can help kids learn vocabulary better, suggests research from the University of Delaware. An article published in the Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research reports that when 48 children between 6 and 12 years of age were taught new words before swimming, they scored 13 percent higher on a test of the words than children that did CrossFit-like exercises or colored pictures. Lead researcher Maddy Pruitt says that exercise is known to increase levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, a protein she describes as the “Miracle-Gro of the brain.” Swimming made a difference, she says, because it is an automatic movement, while the CrossFit exercises were new to them and required mental energy.

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