Health Advice



Smarter, happier kids are more physically fit

By Michael Roizen, M.D. on

The stereotype of a dumb jock pops up in movies like "Revenge of the Nerds" where the Alpha Beta fraternity boys don't seem to know their ABCs. But studies show that it's not true that athletes are dimwitted -- like former Wimbledon champ Marion Bartoli with an IQ of 175, which is higher than Einstein's and Stephen Hawking's.

Now a study in Journal of Clinical Medicine has found that not only do smart folks become great athletes, but becoming an athlete improves brain power and quality of life in kids from elementary through high school.

Researchers looked at 3,285 girls and 3,248 boys to assess the relationship between physical fitness, their ability to concentrate and health-related quality of life. They found that the better the kids' cardiopulmonary fitness (that's heart and lungs), the better their ability to concentrate, the stronger their memory and greater their sense of well-being. The researchers also saw that kids with high levels of physical fitness were more likely to qualify to attend academically rigorous schools as they became older.

Most U.S. kids don't get the minimum amount of physical activity recommended (an hour a day that includes vigorous effort). Mom and Dad, it's time to help your children become more active, so they can achieve their potential academically, physically and emotionally. Start a "Morning Moves" routine with yoga stretches before breakfast or take a longer walking route to the bus stop. Plan for after-school intermural games/sports and playtime. Check out "Move Your Way" at for more tips.



Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email

(c)2022 Michael Roizen, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2022 Michael Roizen, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


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