Want your children to do better in school, try exercise!
January 6, 2012 (WPVI) -- A new study, recently in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, says children who get more exercise also tend to better in school. The findings indicate that it doesn't matter whether the exercise comes as recess, physical education classes or exercise on the way to school. Ironically, this study is released at the same time that many schools are cutting out physical activity time in favor of academic test preparation.
Amika Singh, who worked on the study, said the findings meant that schools should prioritize both academics and exercise and that families could have the same attitude at home. "Maybe it's an activity break, stand up every half an hour in class and do something," said Singh, from VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam. "It might mean going to school by bike ... Any kind of physical activity you can think of. It doesn't mean only the physical education standard class."
In one study, second and third graders who got an extra 90 minutes of physical activity per week did better on a test of spelling, reading and math, along with gaining less weight over the next three years. Researchers wrote, that may be because children are better behaved and can concentrate better when they get enough exercise, or because physical activity improves blood flow to the brain and boosts mood.
As a parent, and avid exerciser, this study is a no-brainer. Daily exercise improves my energy level and concentration, so why wouldn't it do the same for my children? Both my 4 year old and my 6 year old love to run, bike and even do a little P90X with me. For them, it is more play than work. But, unfortunately, according to a study released last spring, nationwide 41-percent of children get less than an hour of exercise PER WEEK! So, it is our role as parents to turn off those video game, get our children off the couch and get them to exercise. It will improve not only their bodies, but their minds.
Happy Parenting! Cecily
cecily tynan parenting reports, holidays, parenting, cecily tynan
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