December 02, 2013 11:55 ET

Physical Fitness-The Secret Link to Cognition-To Be Determined by Groundbreaking Study Led by World Renowned Canadian Researcher Dr. Brian Timmons

HAMILTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 2, 2013) - OTTAWA, EDMONTON, WINNIPEG - OCTOBER - MAY 2014 - Start2Finish's Scientific Advisory Board unites Canada's leading researchers in the realm of cognitive science, medicine, and kinesiology. Dr. Brian Timmons, the Director of the Child Health and Exercise Medicine Program at McMaster University, will direct the first study to be performed on thousands of children across Canada at Start2Finish after school programs, the Running & Reading Club, to determine the relationship between physical fitness and cognition. The research will use a diverse demographic, comparing both affluent and underprivileged schools, along with the First Nations reserve, Opaskwayak, Winnipeg.

In a smaller study, in 2012, Dr. Timmons found that some of the Running & Reading Club after school program participants tested had improved their cardiovascular fitness by up to 100 per cent. It was also found that 87 per cent of students stayed at letter grade, or improved 1 to 2 full grade levels in literacy. Start2Finish's team of researchers recognizes how physical activity and healthy living enhances a child's cognition, enabling their physical, mental, and social development.

"Your Running and Reading pan-Canada Initiative fills the void I was look looking for, given what is known about exercise [and] neuroscience to everyone able to read. I don't think it would be much of a stretch to say your Initiative is akin to Polio Vaccine."

- Dr. Lee Ford Jones, Infectious Disease Specialist at The Hospital for Sick Children at the University of Toronto.

The Running & Reading Club program is currently operating within multiple inner city schools, servicing over 1,600 children across Canada, from Halifax to Vancouver, including several First Nations communities. Each week, children build their strength and endurance through running and fitness activities, receive individualized assistance in both reading and writing, and are given a balanced, energy-filled snack. The program culminates in our Start2Finish 5 Km Running & Reading Challenge and an awards ceremony recognizing each child's achievement at the end of the school year.

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