You’ve heard it before. And because you’re fit (otherwise, why would you be here, looking for more fitness and nutrition tips?!), you know it’s true.
Regular exercise boosts your mind, giving you clarity and staving off myriad aging effects. If you have kids–heck, if you know kids!–you should also know that regular exercise can make them smarter over the long term! The effects seem especially strong for girls in the area of science.
Those were the recently announced results of a survey conducted in the UK that tracked the academic progress of 14,000 children between the ages of 11 and 16. The kids were tested in English, math and science at the ages of 11, 13 and 15 or 16. (The children were all born during 1991 or 1992.) Along the way their level of physical activity was measured with an elastic belt called an accelerometer.
At age 11, by the way, it was discovered that the boys had 29 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise while the girls had only 18. But figures are well below the 60 minutes of daily exercise your kids should be getting!
There are a lot of factors that may affect a child’s academic performance, starting with the health and habits of the birth mother while the child is in the womb. Still, adjusting for those factors, as well as others, it was found at each of measurement stages that those kids with more physical activity also did better academically.
And among all of the results, girls’ science scores seemed to receive the biggest boost.
Unfortunately here in the U.S., Physical Education was largely stripped from public school curricula over the last several years. Of if they do exist, they’ve become more about game-playing than “physical” anything.
That’s just one of the reasons obesity among children here has reached epidemic proportions. But your child (or or little cousin, niece, nephew or friend’s child) doesn’t have to be among them. Some independent team programs are expensive but most are worth it. Think of them as an investment in not only your child’s current health but also their future physical condition – and their academic performance!
At minimim, send your child outside to play for an hour – no matter the weather!
They’ll not only burn calories but they just may make the honor roll, too!