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The More They Burn, the Better They Learn

by Lea Prohov

This article was originally posted on the Let's Move blog. The physical activity facts for adolescent and school health were originally published on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Physical activity is essential to a healthy lifestyle, and it can be especially important in helping kids do better in school. U.S. Health and Human Services studies show that regular physical activity for kids and teens improves strength and endurance, helps build healthy bones and muscles, and increases self-esteem. Parents, teachers, and community leaders can all play a supportive role, and help encourage a healthy lifestyle by promoting physical activity into everyday routines.

This Centers for Disease Control and Prevention graphic highlights research that shows that kids who are physically active get better grades. The research shows that students who earn mostly As are almost twice as likely to get regular physical activity than students who receive mostly Ds and Fs. Physical activity can help students focus, improve behavior and boost positive attitudes. (Graphic by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

For kids and teens (ages 6 to 17 years), here's the goal:

  • Participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily. Whether it's playing outside at recess, joining intramural clubs, or interscholastic sports, kids need to be active. Show them that physical activity is fun!

Here's why it's important:

  • Strong bones and muscles: Helps build and maintain healthy bones and muscles.
  • Reduces the risk of obesity: Helps reduce the risk of developing obesity and chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and colon cancer.
  • Makes kids more confident: Reduces feelings of depression and anxiety, and promotes psychological well-being.
  • Improves academic performance: May help improve students' academic performance, including, academic achievement and grades, and concentration and attentiveness in the classroom.

Here are some important resources to learn more:

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