The stereotype of the dumb jock pops up in movies like "Revenge of the Nerds," in which the Alpha Beta fraternity boys don't seem to know their ABCs.
But studies show it's not true that athletes are dimwitted. For instance, former Wimbledon champ Marion Bartoli has an IQ of 175, which is higher than Albert Einstein's or Stephen Hawking's.
A new study in 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 kids from elementary through high school.
Researchers looked at 3,285 girls and 3,248 boys to assess the relationship between physical fitness, ability to concentrate, and health-related quality of life. They found that the better the kids' cardiopulmonary fitness (that's the 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 when they became older.
Unfortunately, most U.S. kids don't get the minimum amount of physical activity recommended (an hour a day that includes vigorous effort).
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. And plan for after-school intermural games/sports and playtime.
Check out "Move Your Way" at health.gov/moveyourway/get-kids-active for more tips.