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Exercise Can Help Grades 

Jan 31, 2018
As reported by ConnectWithKids. com, in an effort to boost test performance, many schools are taking time away from physical education and using it for more time in class. But studies now show that rigorous physical activity can actually lead to better grades.

According to research from the Medical University of Georgia, kids who are active and play hard have higher levels of concentration, better organization skills and are less impulsive than kids who are sedentary.

“The area of the brain that’s involved in cognitive learning is the same area that’s stimulated by physical activity, so the two seem to work hand in hand,” explains Jackie Lund, Ph.D, President of the National Association for Sport and Physical Education. Former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. David Satcher agrees, “Children who are physically fit do better academically. They perform better on standardized examinations, they concentrate better, on the other hand, children who are obese are four times as likely to be depressed, very likely to be absent from school.”

That’s why, experts say, if your child’s school does not provide vigorous physical education, you have to speak up.

“If parents go out and demand quality physical education, where their kids are learning and they’re moving and they’re involved in activities that are going to create the next steps for a life time, then they will be heard,” says Lund.

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“It is helpful to think of the brain as a muscle,” said Dr. John Ratey, a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, says the best way to “maximize the brain” is through exercise and movement.

According to a recent article posted on ConnectWithKids.com, the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) offers the following statistics and recommendations to support that physically active children “learn better”:
  • Elementary school students should participate in a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate and vigorous activity every day.
  • Middle and high school students should participate in 30 minutes of physical activity daily.
  • Play is an essential part of children’s social development.
  • Children learn how to cooperate, compete constructively, assume leader/follower roles and resolve conflicts by interacting in play.

More than 300,000 deaths are caused annually by a lack of exercise and a poor diet. How much exercise does your child need? According to the American Heart Association (AHA), a “healthy level” of physical activity requires regular participation in activities that increase heart rates above resting levels. An active child plays sports, participates in physical education classes, performs regular household chores, spends recreational time outdoors and regularly travels by foot or bicycle.