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Active Life, Active Mind: How Sports and Fitness Help Kids Stay on Track at School

May 11, 2022 3 min read

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We all want our kids to do well at school and having healthy bodies and active lifestyles helps them build the focus, resilience and confidence to learn, develop, and get good grades.

Here's how:

Better Problem-Solving Abilities

Being active is not simply about getting out of breath and working up a sweat. It's also about increasing cognitive function and developing problem-solving skills. For example, on the football field, kids have to learn to make decisions quickly and develop strong positional awareness. In sports like rock climbing, there may be multiple ways to reach the top of a route. Children can devise a solution that works for their existing strengths while overcoming their own weaknesses.

This is great for supporting a creative and solution-oriented mind. In addition, children may find that they can apply these skills in the classroom, overcoming academic problems with the same thought processes. Scientific examination has also drawn parallels between physical activity and social problem-solving, which will help kids as they navigate academic life and beyond.

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Improved Confidence and Strengthened Social Skills

We've touched on social problem-solving above, but let's take a look at this in more detail. Many sports involve team competition, so kids who play netball, soccer, or gymnastics will need to learn to work together. This is critical in the classroom, too, as kids will become more confident in voicing their views and opinions while they work.

Even individual sports — such as tennis or cross-country running — will provide these skills, too. Kids will still need to cooperate with team members and coaches during training sessions and competitions, and this will assist children with their communication skills and other aspects of life. There are also the feelings of belonging and togetherness that arise from being part of a sporting club or team, which are invaluable to our children's confidence at school.

Maintaining Physical and Mental Health

An active life is certainly great for physical health and wellbeing, but what about health and wellbeing in other areas? For example, studies have found that anxiety and depressive disorders are the second and third most common mental health issues for Australian children aged between five and 14. These issues cause children to struggle in class and impact every aspect of their lives.

Scientists have found positive correlations between high levels of physical activity and reduced rates of depressive and anxious feelings. By getting exercise and being active, kids may find that these feelings are alleviated, helping them to feel generally better about themselves and their lives. While some researchers have found that these effects are only temporary, others believe that regular exercise can actively prevent the development of depression and anxiety in the future. However, it's important to remember that depression and anxiety can be serious disorders, and parents should seek professional assistance for their children if they have any concerns.

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Reducing Exam and Performance Stress

The temporary reductions in anxiety and stress we've discussed above can be critical at times during the academic year. For example, when exams or coursework are on the horizon or when a student is entering a crucial learning phase, stress levels tend to go through the roof. Having an active outlet — somewhere they can blow off some steam and enjoy themselves — can help manage this stress.

In this sense, an active life is a distraction — but it's the rightsort of distraction. Kids need to be able to take their minds away from schoolwork and academic performance every once in a while, enjoying the sports and activities they love. This way, when they return to schoolwork, they will be refreshed and ready for the task that lies ahead.

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Helping Her Achieve Her Active Goals and Enjoy the Ride

We create activewear for girls aged four to 14 that's comfortable and stylish but constructed so it won't ride up, fall down, rub or weigh them down. With distractions out of the way her full focus is on achieving their active goal and enjoying the ride.

Whatever your girls want to do — and whatever an active life means for them — we are here to help. Take a look at the Lava Tribe range or reach out to our team today to learn more.




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