We all know that isn’t good for physical health. New research shows that exercise also really matters when it comes to learning ability.
A study monitored 86 year 4-6 children at a primary school in the UK. They looked at how active they were and measured their age-adjusted body mass index. They also checked how they were doing academically.
Obviously children get bigger as time goes on, so their height and weight was recorded four times during the year-long study. This was done to track their BMI.
It seems that more active children are doing better at school. Their results in the basic skills of literacy and mathematics were all either average or above average. While all children gained weight (as we said, children are expected to get bigger), the less active children gained weight more rapidly. This could indicate future problems.
Your kids think like King Louie in the Jungle Book – ‘I wanna be like you!’ There is no better role model than a parent. Take them swimming, enjoy a family walk. Take a trip to the playground. If you can find one with adult-sized kit, even better. That’s guaranteed to give everyone a giggle!
Get them walking to school if at all possible. It’s better for them, you and the environment. Help them get organised for their PE lessons, the same as you do for their academic work. And encourage their efforts in PE just as much as you do in maths and English.
Make fitness part of the everyday for your kids, just as it is for you.
The best solution is being a parent that enjoys physical activity. Then they inherit that tendency from you so you don't have to push them! if you don't like being active yourself you will just have to pretend you do to get them in the habit too.
right with you, Amber - I'm afraid school PE lessons can often be no fun at all for the non-competitive. Schools should now be moving away from traditional sport but boy is it taking time. All we can do is encourage out of school exercise so they know it can be fun.
it's all very well saying encourage them with PE, but when you have a child who hates sport but loves reading, it's very difficult!