Let's Move campaign

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Researchers have found another reason why it's important for kids to get at least an hour of physical activity a day: It can improve their thinking.

A recent study found that children who engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day experienced enhanced brain function during tasks requiring greater executive control - or the ability to focus, retain and work with information and tune out distractions. The study, which was performed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is published in the current issue of Pediatrics Digest.

There are plenty of ways that parents can help their children increase their activity level without signing them up for teams and classes. The Let's Move campaign, started by First Lady Michelle Obama to reduce childhood obesity, offers the following tips to help kids - and their parents - become more active.

  • Give children toys that encourage physical activity like balls, kites, and jump ropes.
  • Limit TV time and keep the TV out of a child's bedroom.
  • Facilitate a safe walk to and from school a few times a week.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Walk around the block after a meal.
  • Make a new house rule: no sitting still during television commercials.
  • Find time to spend together doing a fun activity: family park day, swim day or bike day.

For more information about the study, visit pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/134/4/e1063.full.

To learn more about Let's Move, visit letsmove.gov/.