by Keila Chaliotis, Staff Writer
I remember back when I was in grammar school and focusing on the subjects at hand, and even worse when it was time to study for exams, used to be very difficult to do. And to this day, it still is for our future generations of kids. But, if your kids are going through this type of situation, don’t worry, because it is nothing that a little exercise can’t fix.
I found some studies recently conducted that analyzed the connection between physical activity in children and their academic performance in school. Initially, some researchers had predicted that kids who took physical education during school time would do better academically, since it helps reduce boredom and helps kids stay centered with whatever the subject at hand maybe.
These studies are conducted on children of middle school age, which are appointed to a physical education class in either the first or second semester of the school year. Researchers collect information on each of the student’s activity level inside and outside of the physical education class, and place them side by side to compare their level of activity to their grades in the subjects of math, science, social studies and English. Subjects which to many students seem to not be of much interest, but that are an essential part of who we grow up to be in the long run.
To everyone’s surprise, the findings of these studies, indicate that being a participant in physical education of a moderate activity for up to 30 minutes for 5 days a week, do not have an influence on children’s grades.
Government guidelines from 2010 recommend energetic activity for 20 minutes and at least for 3 days a week. And the studies that the government base this recommendation on, show that the more active children are, such as taking part in a sport or other energetic activities, the better they are to do in school. Most of the children who do exercise energetically, do so outside of school, by playing sports like soccer, basketball, football, baseball and softball.
Now, how can we help exercises take part in making better our children’s academic performance? Even though other studies are not so sure of the impact exercising has on a child’s academic performance, other researches show that active children do much better in school, are able to concentrate more, and even expose fewer behavior problems.
So, if the school your child is in is not requiring enough physical activity from your child, you can motivate them to take part in a school or club sport that she/he will enjoy and benefit from. Remember that team sports teach kids more than just physical fitness.
There are many programs with sports that you can find to enroll your child, which offer them great benefits of exercise to help you start working on a brighter, healthier and fit future for them. Look them up on the web to find out which ones are near you.
What benefits do team sports offer? Team sports better motor skills, boost self-esteem, and encourage cooperation and teamwork. Other ways non-athletic children can meet physical activities are with non-competitive activities such as biking, swimming, jogging ,and even by playing games like freeze tag.
So, if you were worried about your child’s academic performance before reading this article, you need not to be anymore and instead you should jump right to putting these recommendations to practice with your children as soon as possible!
Also remember that their academic development can not only depend on teachers and their PE instructor. They are only a part of a triangle cycle in which you, too, play a part of.
If you can not find a program near you that the school does not provide, plan out a “Fun Day” in which you and your child can take part of at home or outdoors that involve sports, games and other fun activities to keep your child active.
Also, remember that no child is to be obligated to do what they do not please, so try and take it easy on them, and if necessary, jump in on the action with them. This will catch their attention and influence them to participate more often. Even if it means making a clown of yourself, do so, because the end results will be way more rewarding.