The research is out there – physically fit students do perform better academically!
New York City
A report released in July by the New York City Health Department and Department of Education shows that physically fit students tend to outscore their peers who are less-fit on academic tests.
Read the press release or download the full report .
In March, a report by the Texas Education Agency showed that physically fit students are more likely to do well in school and less likely to be disciplinary problems.
Read the press release.
Exercise and the Brain
In his book, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, John Ratey, a Harvard clinical associate professor of psychiatry, argues for more physical fitness for students as a cure for not only their obesity but also their academic performance.
For parents, teachers, school administrators, and legislators (and just about everyone else) the answer is clear. Part of the answer to increasing achievement test scores, school performance, and other measures is incorporating more physical activity into the lives of kids. The answer is not decreasing phys ed programs in order to spend time on academics. But it is not just more physical activity as part of the school curriculum. That increased activity must be part of their non-school lives as well.
A recent Yoga Journal e-newsletter featured an arcticle titled “Forever Young,” about older adults doing yoga.
Peggy Cappy, creator of the Yoga for the Rest of Us DVDs, was quoted throughout the article. If you don’t know her work, please buy or rent the DVDs.
Peggy has been teaching a Gentle Stretch class in Peterborough, NH for over 20 years. Many of her students are in their 70s, 80s, and 90s.
I had the privilege of observing the class during a teacher training course with Peggy this summer. Her older students are amazing – active, joyful. If they hadn’t told me their ages, I would have guessed much younger ages.
Peggy Cappy's Yoga for the Rest of Us
When prospective students ask if I think they are too old or too inflexible to begin yoga, I always tell them about Peggys’ students.
“Scientific studies have already found yoga to benefit people with 50 different health conditions, and the list keeps growing. Yoga is also great preventive medicine, and a way to be happier, and more relaxed and effective in your life. National Yoga Month 2009 is providing a vital service by spreading this message, and by bringing yoga to underprivileged kids who otherwise might not have the opportunity.”
Timothy McCall, MD, Medical Editor Yoga Journal, Author of Yoga as Medicine