We all want our kids to do well in school. We also all know that it is smart to exercise…
Its not surprising that there is evidence that exercise actually helps kids be smarter as well.
Several studies have tested this theory and the results are fascinating:
One study found that fourth- and fifth-grade students who ran around and otherwise exercised vigorously for at least 10 minutes before a math test scored higher than children who had sat quietly before the exam.
Another study found aerobic fitness to be a significant predictor of academic performance – even though overall weight didn’t play a role. Talk about benefits from “going the extra mile!”
But while these studies offer more great reasons to put fitness at the top of your list, let’s face it…we’re busy! And it can seem overwhelming to consider building in one more activity.
But it’s so important and I wanted to share some ideas to help your family incorporate fitness into your routine!
TIPS TO GET MOVING WHEN YOU ARE BUSY: • Go on an after-dinner walk. Use the time to talk through the day and talk about school, homework and other important things going on in your kids lives.
• Find an activity the whole family can enjoy. Sure, many kids are already involved in sports or dance, but if your child isn’t much of a “team sports” kid, there are plenty of other options – and some of them can be done as a family. Check into Tae Kwon Do, table tennis, or ice skating.
• Encourage active study breaks. As you plan the evening’s study session, throw in movement. Shoot some baskets on an indoor or outdoor hoop; or, fire up the Wii and play some tennis.
• Do a workout DVD together. Whether you think your kids would prefer to go high-action with Insanity, or bliss out with a yoga class, doing a workout together can be a great way to clear your mind before your evening’s studies, or calm down and prepare for a good night’s sleep.
Even watch this video for a free kid’s workout that helps them learn! (Click on the picture that says FREE KIDS WORKOUT)
• Two words: Dance Party. After dinner why not throw on some tunes while you clean up and transition to study time? Have a dance off – show them your old school moves and see if you can do theirs.
Here are Becky’s favorite kid dance party songs.
• Make sure your weekends are active.
Again, some of you may be sitting in a basketball gym all weekend anyway, but if you have free time on the weekend, consider finding a family activity you call can enjoy – whether it’s hiking, skiing or geocaching. The family that plays together stays together.
• Start a walking challenge. Our Tutor.com team just kicked off a walking challenge to see how much we can move every week. It’s great for families too.
You can even incorporate some geography and math into your fitness by choosing destinations and seeing how fast you can “walk” there. Print out a chart that shows the miles between Point A and Point B, strap on a pedometer and see how fast and how far your daily steps can take you!
Exercise Has Positive Effects on Academic Performance – Another Reason to Get Your Family Moving!
By Mandy Ginsberg, CEO of Tutor.com, the world’s largest and highest-rated online tutoring company with a community of more than 3,000 expert tutors, and over 10 million one-to-one online tutoring sessions served. Professional tutors are available 24/7 in 40 plus subjects, including AP courses and SAT test prep. Ninety percent of students who use Tutor.com get better grades, feel more confident and complete their homework on time. She is also the proud mom of two daughters.