In researching for my book Fit Kids-Smarter Kids, I discovered volumes of studies showing that children perform better in school (and in life) when they regularly engage in exertive activities. It only takes a few minutes each week to motivate a child to exercise. When you help a kid learn the joy of exertion, you are giving a gift that keeps on giving.

Even in the days of ancient Greece, educators knew that there was a powerful connection between physical fitness and learning. This has been documented in the last few decades in research showing that regular aerobic exercise stimulates brain cell growth and helps the brain to function quicker and more efficiently at any age. Not only do kids get an energized head start in learning when they work out:

  • Exercising kids have higher test scores
  • Exercising kids are absent less often
  • Exercising kids have better mental health
  • Exercising kids get along better
  • Exercising kids have a better self-image

Next week: Part 2, tips for helping kids exercise.