AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - We all know exercise is the key to keeping a child's body healthy, but did you know daily exercise can also help kids do better in school? A new study released from a group of college professors shows that kids who run laps around their classmates on the playground, also run laps around them in the classroom.
Experts found out that children who are more physically fit tend to have higher scores on standardized math tests.
One Augusta elementary school gym teacher said in her class, she aims to teach kids the importance of physical fitness, and why it's key for education and for life.
In gym class, many kids are focused on winning the game or blowing off some extra steam. But as they stretch their legs and get fit in gym class, they're also working to raise their math test scores. A new study shows that kids who exercise for at least 30 minutes a day show nearly a four point boost in intelligence scores over kids that don't exercise at all.
For the students at Warren Road Elementary, their twice a week PE class helps them release some stress, which translates in the classroom.
"They can go back in the classroom and seem to be more focused, and it really helps the teachers a lot," said Kim Wheadon, the PE teacher at Warren Road Elementary.
The study also revealed that kids who exercise more have a more matured frontal cortex. This is the part of the brain that helps with working memory, cognitive flexibility and the ability to tune out distractions.
For Wheadon, this relationship between a healthy body and a healthy mind is something she strives to teach her students every day.
"We stress with the teachers that physical education is a class as well," she said. "It's not a recess period, that we do learn things about physical activity, about lifestyle, about healthy habits in physical education. So we stress we just stress that it's very, very important for them to come [to PE]."
The more exercise a child can get, the better they will be in every aspect of life.
"Physical activity can be anything. Physical activity can be taking them to the park. You know, it's so important for them to get out and move, and not sit in from of the TV and not sit in front of the computer or video game. Just get them out and move, even if it's to go for a walk," said Wheadon.
Math scores aren't the only subject improved by physical activity. Experts said reading comprehension and other academic areas are also affected by the maturation in the brain structure.