Exercise helps the brain work better
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Exercise Helps Students Do Better in School
Aug 9, 2006 11:23 AM EDT
Gym class may be more then play time for young students. A new study says vigorous exercise may help kids do better in school. Is cheerleading really hard work?
Stephanie Sizen, Cheerleader: "We tumble, we lift girls, we dance, we sweat, we bleed, we break bones, so yeah, I'd say it's a real sport."
In fact, the workout is so vigorous, a study published this week by the American College of Sports Medicine says this level of activity can help kids do better in school.
Professor Jim Pivarnik: "We found those that perform high levels of vigorous activity score higher about 10% higher across the year in those core subject."
Michigan State University Professor Jim Pivarnik helped write the study. He says they charted the physical and academic moves of more than 200 middle school students over the course of a year , and looked at a lot of factors.
Professor Jim Pivarnik: "The ability to memorize, comprehend practice, when you started to read how much added information, in addition to class, did you seek out on your own?"
Pivarnik says the children he studied all participated in gym class, but he says unlike running, soccer or cheerleading, for example, gym class isn't necessarily a vigorous workout, because of all the time spent on instruction.
Professor Jim Pivarnik: "Oh, most definitely it can be harder than gym class."
The study says vigorous movement like what the high schoolers are doing not only improves academics, it also helps improve the way students see themselves.
Professor Jim Pivarnik: "If you're good at one thing, at least you're going to feel somewhat good about that and feel better about yourself at school, and all the things that go along with school, and how well a kid can concentrate is based on how he or she feels about themselves."