The stereotype of a dumb jock shows 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 stupid – like former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli with an IQ of 175, which is higher than Einstein and Stephen Hawking.

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

Researchers examined 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 children’s cardiopulmonary fitness (i.e. heart and lungs), the better their ability to concentrate, the stronger their memory, and the greater their sense of well-being. . The researchers also found that children with a high level of physical fitness were more likely to qualify to attend academically rigorous schools as they got older.

Most American children do not get the minimum recommended physical activity (one hour a day that includes vigorous effort). Mom and dad, it’s time to help your kids become more active, so they can fulfill their academic, physical and emotional potential. Start a “Morning Moves” routine with yoga stretches before breakfast or take a longer walking route to the bus stop. Schedule after-school intermural games/sports and play time. See “Move Your Way” at health.gov/moveyourway/get-kids-active for more tips.

King Features Syndicate