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Physical Fitness Gives Children Better Academic Performance

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Health Issues page and our Appetite For a Change page.

If your child is struggling in school, you may want to evaluate his level of physical activity and fitness.

 Researchers have repeatedly found connections between fitness and brain health, which naturally impacts all areas of brain function, such as cognitive thinking skills and memory.

 According to a study from the University of North Texas, which was recently presented at the American Psychological Association's annual convention, having a healthy heart and lungs may actually be one of the most important factors for middle school students to make good grades in math and reading.1

 According to co-author Trent A. Petrie, PhD:

     "Cardiorespiratory fitness was the only factor that we consistently found to have an impact on both boys' and girls' grades on reading and math tests... This provides more evidence that schools need to re-examine any policies that have limited students' involvement in physical education classes."

 Indeed, there's plenty of evidence attesting to the fact that if you value your brainpower, and that of your children, you'll want to make certain that exercise is a regular part of your and your family's life. Previous research has also discovered links between physical fitness and mental acuity in seniors, so it's equally important for all age groups.

Physical Activity Could Equate to Higher Grades

 A test program not too far from our Chicago-area office at Naperville Central High School in Illinois illustrated the power of exercise to boost school performance in a powerful way two years ago. Students participated in a dynamic morning exercise program at the beginning of the day, and had access to exercise bikes and balls throughout the day in their classrooms. The results were astounding. Those who participated nearly doubled their reading scores!2 Research has also shown that after 30 minutes on the treadmill, students solve problems up to 10 percent more effectively.

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