Research Shows How Physical Fitness Affects Grades

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Based on studies, physical fitness and good grades may go hand in hand. 

In this new study, experts found out that physically fit kids tend to have more cognitive flexibility than their less-fit peers than help them have good grades. Physical activities like regular aerobic exercise are suitable for the brain and exercise since they boost gray matter volume, preventing brain shrinkage. 

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The recent study

The first author of the said study said that cognitive flexibility changes might ultimately mediate the link between kids having good grades and physical fitness. The study aimed to observe the effects of physical fitness on kids' grades through executive functions. They also tested the different domains of executive functions and whether this link was specific to certain school topics. 

During his time at the University of Illinois at Urbana Urbana-Champaign'san Institute, another author of the study researched the link between kids' fitness and their brain's matter. 

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Physical fitness and brain development

Physical fitness has a direct impact on the behavior and development of the brain. It affects cognitive skills such as concentration and attention, and it also helps classroom attitudes and behaviors, all of which are vital parts of improved academic performance and good grades. 

In the study, kids who are engaged in physical fitness were not only better at reading, but they were also better at reading passages with many grammatical errors. Experts measured the brain waves and how fast the brain responds to certain stimuli. They found out that the brains of kids who are engaged in physical fitness fired faster and more robust. As a result, those kids had better language skills, helping them to have good grades. 

Experts also said that just one physical fitness session instantly boosts kids' function, cognition, and academic performance. 

Further explanation

Studies also suggest that mathematics and reading are the academic topics that are most influenced by physical fitness. These topics depend on efficient and effective executive function, which has been linked to physical activity and physical fitness. 

Single sessions of and long-term being engaged in physical fitness to improve cognitive performance and brain health. Kids who engage in various physical activities benefit the most. 

Given the importance of time on task to learning, students should be given frequent physical activity breaks that are developmentally appropriate. 

On the other hand, the study challenges the notion that is forcing kids to spend more time sitting at their desks, cramming their heads full of knowledge, at the expense of taking breaks to play outside, is best for students' performance.

The authors of the study said that by showing the link between physical abilities, it points out the importance of not reducing physical activity (and physical education hours) in favor of other subjects. That could harm the development of the child as a whole. 

Such findings by experts at the University of Geneva (UNIGE) were published online ahead of print in the peer-reviewed journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 

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