Families have urgent reasons to adopt and sustain active lifestyle habits. ​Parents can generate major benefits for all family members by defining a specific strategy to promote physical activity. However, there are several significant barriers that stand in the way.

The relationship between exercise, brain development and behavioral outcomes represents a major new insight revealed by recent research. ​Critical sections of the brain, specifically the pre-frontal cortex, mature slowly and do not achieve full development for 20 years or more. This critical part of the brain manages functions like planning, organizing and anticipation - all directly relevant to success academically, socially and in athletics. Robust physical activity is strongly associated with academic success and dramatic improvements in disciplinary matters. These outcomes are related to the stimulation of the pre-frontal cortex. Fitness matters not only for physical health priorities but for successful pursuit of academic and social goals.

Health Alliance Partners provides a rich array of research summaries, videos and magazine articles to highlight the importance of active lifestyle habits. Don't miss the video below of John Ratey, M.D. of Harvard Medical School describing the findings of research focused on exercise and the brain.