Doug Hawxhurst in Sport and Fitness, Healthy Living, Personal Training Chief Operating Officer • Jersey Strong Dec 12, 2018 · 1 min read · +200

Understanding the Link Between Physical Fitness and Academic Performance

Understanding the Link Between Physical Fitness and Academic Performance

Physical activity plays a significant role in students' cognitive functions for many reasons. Read on to learn four ways fitness affects student's performance in school.

1. Fitness Teaches Motor Skills

According to researchers with the University of Madrid, students develop motor skills through specific physical activities. These motor skills are connected to the cognitive skills students need to excel academically. The development of these fine motor skills gives students a head start with organizational training, allowing them to refine their sense of spatial awareness. Certain sports like soccer, basketball, tennis, and the like are excellent choices to encourage these motor skills.

2. Exercise Develops Efficient White Matter

A University of Illinois study from August 2014 reported that children that are physically fit have a higher level of compact and fibrous white matter tracts. This will help to accelerate their brains' development as they excel in their studies.

3. Reduce ADHD and Improve Focus with Fitness

The University of Vermont and Michigan State University have reported that children at risk with ADHD and hyperactivity can improve their focus with before-school fitness. By encouraging children to play and take part in early-morning training, these active students will be better able to concentrate throughout the day and focus on their studies.

4. Playful Physical Fitness Breaks Improves Learning

While recess may be a thing of the past for many public schools, many educators are learning the benefits of having regular physical fitness breaks. With just 30 minutes of physical play a day, students are better able to focus during the rest of the school day.

Students don't have to train to be professional athletes to get involved in physical fitness. Encourage students to join a club sport or merely do a few minutes of exercise by playing with their friends. With a consistent fitness routine, parents and teachers are more likely to see a boost in students' academic performance.