Health & Spirit

Keep your kids active when they return to school

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

"Shut Up and Sit Down with 'The Sopranos'" was an evening Q&A/dinner theater put together by Lorraine Bracco (Tony Soprano's psychiatrist on the HBO series) to benefit the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation. Many of the stars of the series attended this hilarious event on June 7, 2017, the 10th anniversary of the last show of the series.

In that context, "shut up and sit down" is a pretty funny line, but it's not so funny when, after running around all summer, it's what (roughly translated) your kids heard when they returned to the classroom this fall.

Curtailing physical activity isn't smart. The best way for kids to learn new info and build cognitive reserve (the ability to optimize or maximize brain performance) is to make sure they get plenty of exercise, along with discovering new information and interacting socially with classmates! Google "Dr. Ken Cooper's Texas Senate Bill 530" to see how it's done.

The facts: Kids who regularly exercise perform better in school and on standardized tests; in a Scottish study, the strongest association was with girls' scores on science tests. And in a study of Italian schoolchildren, pretest activity boosted test scores. Plus, cognitive reserve not only makes it easier for children to learn today, but new research reveals that it can help protect their brains from neurodegenerative damage later in life.

So help your children build cognitive reserve. Make sure they get a minimum of 90 minutes of daily exercise at school, after school and on weekends with both organized activities and unstructured play.


Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c) 2017 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2017 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


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