In the pursuit of academic success, children sometimes need a break from the classroom and an opportunity to release pent-up energy. While academic success is no small feat, students who participate in at least one extracurricular physical activity are proven to reap more benefits than those who do not exercise regularly.
Engaging in sports activities each week helps improve students’ focus on school work, as well as help them lead happier, healthier lives. Here are four reasons why students should be involved in structured, after-school physical activities.
Academic Performance – Studies show that students involved in athletic programs maintain a higher GPA and achieve higher test scores. SPARKpe.org provides a list of recent studies proving the correlation between academic success and physical fitness.
Fitness Habits – Sports help students develop coordination and teaches them how to care for their bodies through proper stretching and the development of fundamental mechanics. Participating in athletics at an early age instills physical fitness habits that carry over into adulthood, helping to avoid health problems.
Mental and Emotional Benefits – Athletics have great physical benefits, but also help children to improve mentally and emotionally. While the body exercises, the brain releases endorphines. From a biological standpoint alone, students who are physically active are happier and have a constructive outlet through which to relieve stress.
Development of Specific Skills – Through athletics, students are able to accumulate a whole host of skills and abilities. Leadership, teamwork, confidence, and self-reliance are the big character focuses. Critical thinking is developed on the playing field as athletes need to quickly solve problems created by their opponents. Time management, a skill necessary in adulthood, is also brought into play as children learn to balance their time between schoolwork, sports, and family life.
Even if your child is not interested in team sports, there are plenty of less intense, solitary options. Activities such as swimming, gymnastics, track, martial arts, yoga, and golf provide physical benefits and allow students to engage in an extracurricular activity where they can advance at their own pace.