“Think physical activity is just good for the body? Turns out exercise can help youngsters do better in school too,” declares a headline on Time.com’s Healthland about a recent study published by the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.
Anyone else think it’s tragic that we need a study to show physical activity can improve academic performance? Don’t school teachers and board members and government officials exercise? If they do, they shouldn’t need a study to show them the benefits.I can certainly see it in my own life.
For example, if I run first thing in the morning, I am super-productive for the rest of the day. I get laundry done, I clean, I cook – and I’m happier. After all that, I still have time (and energy) to play catch with my son or let him beat me at Hungry, Hungry Hippos. Besides the productivity, my brain is more alert. I can focus. Writing comes easier to me, which is important since that is what I do for a living.
If I don’t exercise, or even if I wait until night to get in a workout, the day goes by and I don’t get anything done. I spend too much time on the computer, I stare at the wall, household clutter overwhelms me. My brain spins itself into confusion and worry. I procrastinate. I’m usually grumpy, too.
I guess one nice thing about the timing of the release of this study, though, is that it coincides with a lot of New Year’s resolutions – people are paying more attention to health articles right now.
Hopefully, educators are paying attention, too, because the other good thing about this study is that it could help save school gym programs from something really tragic: extinction.