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There appears to be a link between physical activity and learning

People are always searching for ways to improve the functioning of their brains and to make learning new things easier. An association between physical activity and learning has been evidenced in many studies, reported Science Daily on Feb. 5, 2014. It has been suggested by these studies that being physically active produces positive effects on many cognitive functions, including memory, attention, information processing and problem solving.

Riding bikes to stay in shape

Now, a research project which was included in the Academy of Finland’s research program, "The Future of Learning, Knowledge and Skills", is going to investigate the association which exists between physical activity and academic achievement further, reports the Academy of Finland. This project, which is entitled "Active, Fit and Smart" (AFIS), has been set up to investigate the links between physical activity, fitness and the cognitive prerequisites of learning and the mechanisms which influence these links. Research Director Tuija Tammelin from LIKES - Research Center for Sport and Health Sciences, heads this project.

It has been pointed out by Temmelin that we know that the infantile and adolescent brain is still in the process of developing and taking shape. Tammelin has said, "Our aim is to explore how physical activity and fitness are linked to academic achievement, cognitive functions, brain properties and executive functions at different ages, both in children and adults.” This project is anticipated to generate important basic research knowledge dealing with the cognitive prerequisites of learning. It is hoped the results will be of benefit to both practitioners and policymakers in the areas of sports, education and public health.

“Mens sana in corpore sano” - “Healthy body, healthy mind”, is a world famous quotation by Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis, a Roman orator and poet, reports the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. This demonstrates that 2000 years ago people had already made the connection between the health of the body and the health of the mind. In this era the neurosciences are examining the nature of this connection and its potential application to individual and societal needs. Physical activity has been found to affect brain structures and brain chemicals and therefore influence higher cognitive processes like attention, learning and memory. So remember, it's a good idea to stay active to improve your chances of being healthy in body and mind.

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