Physical activity is often thought of as a seasonal sport…
Physical activity is often thought of as a seasonal sport, however, studies show that sports, dance, and fitness are activities that should be maintained throughout the year. Our bodies and minds cannot develop and stay strong if we are constantly turning on and off the faucet of the very activity that feeds our mental, academic, and physical development.
“The more physically active that children and adolescents are, the better they perform academically.
According to research from the University of North Texas, “maintaining a healthy body may be one of the most important factors in determining a student’s success in math and reading.”
The key is maintaining the physical activity for your child throughout the year, especially during holidays when we tend to want to turn off the activities for our children and ourselves. Dance is a great physical activity that can be maintained throughout the year even in colder weather since it can be done indoors at a dance studio. Just as we need food to fuel our health and energy daily, we need structured physical activity to maintain our physical, mental, and academic health and development.
“Being physically active means more than just “running around” and “playing outside.” Yes, running, jumping, and swimming often called cardio-respiratory activities or “cardio” is important for the heart. However, activities that focus on perceptual-motor development and fundamental movement skills are also important. While both cardio and motor skill activities improve overall brain function, they activate children’s brains differently, so we need each of these to plan and make decisions from simple to most complex (2). Physical activity can affect how we learn, remember, problem-solve, and pay attention (3).”
Dance classes teach perceptual-motor development and fundamental movement skills and provide enhanced concentration and attention as well as improved classroom behavior. It is also an easy activity to maintain on a regular schedule throughout every season of the year.
So, when you are getting ready to carve that turkey and shop for the holidays, remember to continue to keep the faucet on for your child’s physical activity and academic and physical development.