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Study: Kids who exercise improve their math skills

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Is your elementary schooler struggling in math? Get him or her off the couch!

A recent study published in Health Psychology focused on 171 overweight students aged 7 to 11, according to "Exercise improves math skills in overweight kids--study" in The Med Guru. The kids were divided into three groups: One group exercised 40 minutes after school, the second group exercised for 20 minutes, and the third group didn't exercise.

Neharika Sabharwal wrote in the article, "It was noted that the more the kids exercised, the better was the outcome. After a period of three months, students who exercised for 40 minutes daily enhanced their intelligence scores by an average of 3.8 points." Although reading scores were not affected, math scores increased among the exercisers -- and that alone should be enough to inspire you to get your kids playing soccer or tag.

The study's lead researcher, Catherine Davis, is quoted in the article, saying, "I hope these findings will help re-establish physical activity's important place in schools in helping kids stay physically well and mentally sharp. For children to reach their potential, they need to be active."

That bears repeating: They need to be active. It's not about appearance, it's about living a long, healthy life in a sound body and, as it turns out, a sound mind. If just 40 minutes of movement each day could help your child excel in school, wouldn't you see that they get it?

Denver abounds in opportunities for physical activity. Walks in the mountains or our many city parks, group fitness classes for children at gyms like Greenwood Athletic Club, or even personal training sessions with a qualified trainer can get your children on a path of health and wellness that lasts their entire lives.