Good Grades are Part of a Healthy Lifestyle
It is no secret that the work students do at home has a positive impact on their studies. Homework develops learning-related routines and reinforces concepts learned at school through practice and application. However, homework isn’t the only way to boost grades and see classroom success. Our culture is becoming increasingly health conscious, and there is a growing body of research that shows that for students, a healthy lifestyle at home is just as important to academic performance as hitting the books.
A healthy lifestyle balancing fitness, nutrition and sleep creates a healthy brain, one that is receptive to new ideas, alert in the classroom, and retains information longer.
Many studies show that student’s cognitive and academic functioning is related to their health, and students with poor health from lack of activity, poor nutrition and inadequate sleep, are at greater risk of absenteeism, reduced motivation and poor academic performance.
Boosting kids’ activity levels doesn’t necessarily mean training for marathons. Even brief amounts of physical activity can increase metabolism in all the body’s systems; in the brain, this means improved cognitive functions and stronger neural connections. For students hitting the books, physical activity improves memory and recall of the information they are trying to remember for a test. Translating fitness to the classroom could be as simple as going for a quick walk during a study break.
Exercise goes hand in hand with nutrition. While some foods negatively impact the body, other foods positively impact the brain. Nuts, seeds, fish, fruits, vegetables and whole grains all contain nutrients that boost cognitive functioning, giving students a boost in not only memory but in their ability to focus — as well as their mood and attitude.
Breakfast is shown to be the most important meal of the day, as it’s the first meal after hours of sleep; students’ brains are as hungry as their stomachs, making when students eat just as important as what they eat. Some studies show that students who don’t eat breakfast have decreased alertness and attention in class, as well as reduced ability to problem solve.
Sleep also plays a critical role in health and learning. A sleep-deprived brain doesn’t function as well as a rested one. When it comes to studying, the research shows that pulling all-nighters is less beneficial than a good night’s sleep. While students are asleep, the brain moves information learned throughout the day from short-term storage into long-term storage and strengthens neural connections to make information retrieval easier.
Taking notes in class, doing homework, studying hard and going to class are all important to good grades, but equally important is maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including being fit, eating right and getting a good night’s sleep. If parents are looking to boost their child’s grades outside of an academic environment, health and lifestyle changes can bring surprising results. There are plenty of changes parents and students alike can implement at home to get an added classroom — and lifestyle — boost.
About Oxford Learning:
Established in 1984, Oxford Learning goes beyond tutoring to help students reach their learning potential, not just for one grade or one year, but for a lifetime. The unique programs teach children to learn how to learn. Visit Oxford Learning online at www.oxfordlearning.com for complete program information.
Oxford Learning Regina
Janet Klassen, Centre Director
203-2595 Quance Street East