Physical Activity And Child’s Academic Performance: Is there a connection?
Do you think your child’s academic performance is based solely on the number of hours they spend in front of books? You might be wrong. A child’s academic performance is a result of multiple factors – which includes everything from a child’s intellect to the environment they are in. And, majorly the most ignored, influencing factor is physical health.
Physical activity or exercise can improve your health and it reduces the risk of developing several diseases like diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. It can have immediate and long-term health benefits. Importantly, it can improve your quality of life. Regularly performing physical activities at a very young age can help the body to build stronger bones and muscles. It can also develop a healthy heart, lungs, and arteries. It helps the child to improve their coordination, balance, posture, and flexibility. This eventually also reduces the risk of becoming overweight or obese at a young age.
According to a study by the National Academy of Medicine: students who get regular physical activity perform better academically. The benefits of exercising often include better attention, memory retention, performance on standardized academic tests, problem-solving skills, enhanced reaction time, creative thinking, and much more.
How Does Exercise Affect Academic Performance?
Several studies have proven that children who get adequate exercise and are active every day tend to have the following characteristics than less active children.
- Focused Attention.
- Memory Retention.
- Problem Solving Skills.
- Better Reaction Time and Creative Thinking.
- Increased Positive Needs.
How Many exercises Should Students Do?
To get children moving, schools usually promote physical education classes, classroom breaks, after-school sports, and other activities. Children need to have at least an hour or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Binding children to sit for long hours in front of books is not the best way to get their academics improved. You should encourage your children to do at least one of these different forms of exercises daily.
- Aerobic: exercises include running, swimming, hiking, dancing, kickboxing, etc.
- Bone Strengthening: exercises include jogging, climbing stairs, playing tennis, etc.
- Muscle Strengthening: lifting weights, cycling, push-ups, working with resistance bands, etc.
Effect Of Exercise On The Brain
In a study conducted by the University of British Columbia, regular aerobic exercise enhances the functioning of the hippocampus, the area of the brain that is involved in learning and verbal memory. Balancing exercises, muscle toning exercises, and resistance training do not have the same result on the brain. The parts of the brain that control thinking and memory were found to be in better health in those who exercised regularly than in the brains who didn’t exercise.
- Regular exercise gives the ability to reduce inflammation, reduce insulin resistance and stimulate the release of growth factors. These are responsible for the growth of new blood vessels, the health of brain cells, as well as the survival of new brain cells.
- Getting enough exercise will also improve sleep quality and mood. It can reduce stress and anxiety.
Regular exercise is vital for maintaining a healthy body. A healthy body will, in turn, keep your mental capabilities strong. It can unlock your highest potential which will help you to excel in your academics.
Omkar Kulkarni is a self-proclaimed art appreciator, a certified film reviewer and someone’s favorite human being.