For Better Grades, Students Should Exercise Their Minds and Hearts

It’s time to banish the stereotype of the dumb jock. Studies have shown that there is a direct correlation with how much exercise a kid gets and how well they do in school.

Researchers recently found that adolescents who have a higher level of cardiovascular fitness and motor ability did better in school than their less fit peers. They also had better memory and larger hippocampi. Students with lower cardiovascular capacity and motor skills tended to have lower grades.

Cardiovascular exercise can be anything that gets your heart pumping, from swimming to running to playing sports like basketball. Motor fitness includes exercises which require agility and precision, like ice-skating and skiing.

This just goes to show you the impact that movement has not only on our bodies, but our minds too. The good news is that starting a healthy lifestyle as an adolescent greatly increases the chances that they will sustain it well into adulthood. Just like it’s easier to retain certain skills learned in youth (like speaking a language, learning to ride a bike, or playing an instrument), having your kids adopt healthy habits early on will help to ingrain it into their minds; even if they fall off the wagon, it’s something they’ll have an easier time picking up again. So for better grades, be sure your child gets equal study and exercise time.

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