Exercise and academic performance
A recent article caught my eye regarding physically fit children achieving better results in class than their unfit counterparts.
My last post related to children following examples set by their parents with regards to food and exercise – lifestyle.
This standpoint is further backed up with recent studies proving without a shadow of a doubt, that active students who participate in organized sport; or regular physical exercise; will out-perform their peers who are sedentary.
This research applies to youngsters all the way through to university students.
I, myself train quite a few HSC and university students all of whom participate as well in school/university sports or an outdoor activity with friends. They are alert, study well and possess a well-balanced attitude both emotionally and mentally. This outlook is as much applied toward their upcoming major exams or assessment work as to their lives in general. What is also interesting and important to note here, is that the parents of these kids are also committed to a routine of daily exercise – an active lifestyle.
Stress levels are reduced and the ability to focus on work is greatly enhanced as a result of REGULAR physical activity.
The gym that I work and train at has a significant number of children who regularly attend with either friends or family. The group exercise classes are fun and teenagers generally respond well to this type of exercise. Some of these kids will have one-on-one or small group sessions with a Personal Trainer and for the younger ones ballet and/or dance classes are a great social activity and a fun way to exercise.
I am not advocating that all children need personal trainers however I am advocating that we as parents, should try and incorporate regular exercise for our little ones, so, as they become adolescents physical activity is a part of the daily routine, and not a chore. Hopefully this then carries though to adult life.
We must lead by example.
I clearly remember one of my daughter’s; the other half of “MUM AND DAUGHTER;” heading off to ballet classes aged 5. This was a choice that she had made and no doubt influenced by her older sister; already a seasoned veteran of dance.
We soon discovered that she was no prima ballerina; unlike her sibling; though the shift to “jazz” classes proved highly successful and rewarding for her…that is until the switch to competitive swimming took prcedence.
As a parent, I never forced my girls to do any sport or activity they didn’t enjoy. Finances being what they were, this limited the choices available, though both girls always found an activity that they enjoyed…and they were VERY DIFFERENT choices.
I had the budding ballerina as opposed to the next butterfly Olympic champion!
My parents were hugely responsible for my lifelong interest in physical activity and therefore I am a firm believer in the benefits of moving in order to maintain a balanced approach to life. Be it dance, tennis, school sport, swimming, running and the list goes on…there is no reason why we as parents can’t encourage our little ones; from an early age; to take up and adhere to a particular type of activity or if very lucky a choice of several.
Obesity; in Australia is on the rise and frighteningly it is most evident in the younger population.
Let’s try and beat this demon.
If YOU set a good example with regards to exercise and nutrition, your kids will have a great start towards a positive, healthy and balanced life.