Our children’s brains are under attack.
Take a look at these startling statistics from a comprehensive surveillance report by the CDC that spanned 2005 - 2011 which shows that among children aged 3-17 years:
6.8% have ADHD
3.5% have behavioral or conduct problems
3% have anxiety
2.1% have depression
1.1% have autism spectrum disorder
Moreover, research by the National Alliance on Mental Illness has found that among children ages 9 to 17, 21% have a diagnosable mental or addictive disorder, and that suicide is the leading cause of death in youth ages 15 to 24.
These numbers show us why brain health is a major focus of research today. The good news is that there are many things we already know about how to maintain a healthy brain. Last week, we talked about the importance of “brain food.” And here’s another habit that is critical to brain health -- exercise. Your brain needs an abundant blood flow to sustain its high energy demands for function, and exercise is a great way to increase blood flow to the brain.
Here are 7 ways that exercise has been shown to benefit the brain: