Children exercising

According to a recent study, signing your child up for sports or encouraging regular exercise is the key to their academic success.

Researchers in Switzerland were able to find a direct link between children being successful in school and performing regular physical activities like playing sports or exercising. The children were found to be getting higher marks in subjects like math and english, which was a sign of better memory and the ability to focus. Researchers concluded that their cognitive abilities were likely improved from their physical activity.

The study assessed 193 students from eight different schools to compare the children's academics and physical performance. One assessment included having the children sprint back and forth from lines that were 65 feet apart at increasing rates. Head researcher Marc Yangüez said his team looked at other contributing factors like the child's weight, height, age and sex during the study.

The recent study from Switzerland wasn't the first time that getting good grades in school has been linked to exercise. A previous experiment from Professor Charles Hillman at Northeastern University suggested that children's cardiovascular fitness contributes to their academic success.

Yangüez and his team broke the children's abilities down into three categories:

  • Memory
  • Adaptability
  • Inhibition

Julien Chanal, another researcher on the study, said by using variables to assess each child from rigor to the quickness of their responses across nine different tasks, they were able to identify the children who were performing above average. One of the tasks required the children to link letters in a climbing sequence to test their memory and repetition. "We can find out which children have a certain level of ability in the beginning and then follow them over time to see how they develop," Chanal said.

The physically fit students also excelled in foreign languages. Students were found to get higher marks in French two. Yangüez said it was likely because "French one is probably less directly concerned because the evaluation of the text and the writing depend more on subjective factors, which is less the case for mathematics or grammar, for which there is little subjectivity in the right or wrong answers."

Researchers were confident that regular exercise, whether walking, running, yoga or playing sports, was directly linked to improving a students' neuroplasticity. Thus allowing the child to become better and faster learners while increasing creativity, memory, concentration and confidence.

Daily physical fitness has also been shown to increase oxygen flow to the brain, releasing neurotransmitters and neurotrophins and supporting higher learning and thinking. It's time to make sure your children are getting daily exercise if you want them to succeed in school because science has just proven how valuable physical wellness is, especially for the youth.

Please encourage your children to get outside and play as often as they can. Children learn from watching and doing. You can help them develop a love of physical activity by encouraging them to be active. Try to get them physically active for at least 60 minutes every day.

Please encourage your children to get outside and play as often as they can. Children learn from watching and doing. You can help them develop a love of physical activity by encouraging them to be active. The CDC recommends getting your child physically active for at least 60 minutes a day in an activity that gets their heart beating faster. Less than 24 percent of children between the ages of 6 to 17 partake in the daily 60 minutes activity, so as parents, make sure your children aren't included in that statistic.

So what activities should your children be doing to help influence their education?

Aerobic Activities

Aerobic activities like running, walking, swimming, dancing and skipping are great for the heart and lungs. Why? These activities make you breathe faster and take in more oxygen. Your heart beats more quickly. It's getting a workout, too, and that's good for the rest of your body. It helps deliver all the oxygen you're taking in and delivers it to other body parts.

Endurance Activities

Endurance activities like riding a bike, skateboarding or playing soccer helps build muscle mass, strengthen bones, and burn fat. The key is to do it regularly at least three times a week as part of their 60 minutes or more physical activity routine. Help them excel at endurance activities so if they like bike riding, do it as a family. Load up the bikes, head to your favorite park, and enjoy the cool breeze riding through your hair as your family enjoys the beautiful outdoors.

Always make sure whatever physical activities or exercise your child is doing is age-appropriate. You don't want them to do intense activities that could harm their bodies more than good to their bodies. Please don't push your child to do more than they are capable of. If they aren't interested in a sport, don't force them to play it. You want them to enjoy their physical activities and not feel like they have to do something.

Exercising is supposed to feel good. It'll feel great to have such a strong and flexible body. They will thank you later when they have less health issues because they stay so active. It will also help improve their overall mental wellness since exercising releases endorphins, making them feel happier.

Researchers have suggested that exercise also helps reduce stress and anxiety. So help your children get rid of their pretest jitters by going for a walk or short run the day of the test. It will help ease their negative thoughts and allow them to focus better, making them perform better.

Not only is regular exercise going to have immediate benefits like everything mentioned above, but you're also going to help reduce your child's risk of developing severe medical conditions. Conditions like heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes later on down the road.

Children who stay fit and healthy will have an overall better quality of life. They will be happier, healthier, and smarter. So get ahead while you still can and help guide them down an enriched path full of opportunities they can benefit from.

Regular exercise isn't a luxury. It's a necessity.

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