Friday, March 1, 2013

Strong Heart / Strong Mind

Kids who are fit are also better in academics.

In a study just released yesterday, researchers found that kids who did better on a jog/run test also did better in math and reading. 

Dr. Bob Rauner and his merry band of scholastic know-it-alls in Lincoln, Nebraska compared the little nose miners in the Lincoln Public Schools to see if there was any correlation between kids who are aerobically fit and kids who get good grades.  You bet your chubby little rear there was a correlation.

The elementary and middle school kids (I'm sure they tried to get the high school kids to run, but they probably just walked and gave the finger to the PE teacher) participated at gun point in a standard jogging/running test called PACER,  (Which is probably some lame government program that cost about $13,000 per student to run) and categorized the kids as aerobically fit or unfit.  Then they compared those results to standardized academic test scores and found that kids who were aerobically fit had a 2.5 times greater chance of passing the math portion and a 2.2 times greater chance of passing the reading. 

I love this because over the past number of years U.S. public schools have been dropping or reducing Physical Education and sports in order to try to improve academic performance and this study shows that they're headed the wrong direction.  I know, big surprise.  Something to keep in mind is that some kids had good running scores but also had high BMI's.  A high BMI would indicate that the kid was over-weight.  These kids also did well on the academic exams.  What this tells us is that what's critical here is aerobic fitness, not weight. 

Okay, so what does this mean to you and me?  As adults most of us don't have to take standardized academic tests but most of us have to use our brains to earn a living.  If we ignore our aerobic/fitness health we're less likely to do well at the office.  So, it stands to reason that if we get out and jog a few blocks a couple of times a week we'll be rich.  Well, at least, we'll have a better shot at it.

That's my two cents and it's worth every penny.
Jake Holmes

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