The Correlation Between Running And The Classroom


The Correlation Of Aerobic Exercise And Academic Achievement

Aerobic exercise has been shown to improve academic performance in children. It contributes to better brain function, physical health, and fitness.

Aerobic exercise has a strong positive correlation with improved learning ability. This is because exercise increases circulation in the body and enhances brain functions. Running, in particular, has a unique and powerful effect on learning.

Research has shown that incorporating aerobic exercise into a student's daily routine can improve test scores. One article suggests that these higher test scores highlight the need for students to have adequate time to exercise during the regular school day.

In most cases, aerobic exercise has shown positive results in the classroom.                                    

Running can positively impact academic success. Consistent aerobic exercise and good grades are linked.

The cross-country teams I’ve coached have won academic awards yearly from the local state high school athletic association. Our teams have won the state academic championship for Cross-Country teams with the highest team GPA three times statewide in the last several years.   

The Washington State legislature honored one of the teams I  helped coach for outstanding academic and athletic performance. They won nine consecutive state cross-country championships and yearly state academic awards.

On another note, the last six JPII valedictorians were members of the cross-country and school track and field teams. I think this fact is at least interesting to discuss. 

I have consistently observed substantial academic achievements alongside the running teams I have coached, as aerobic exercise and strong academics are closely related.

Running And Aerobic Exercise Helps Brain Development And Much More

Studies in scientific journals validate the positive impact of sustained aerobic exercise on cognitive function and learning.

Running also helps mitigate the impacts of ADD, ADHD, and even depression. Again, this is not a theory to me at all. I've seen the results first-hand with the student-athletes I've coached. The impact of appropriate exercise is life-changing for many student-athletes in positive, life-giving ways.

Helping kids with these types of struggles is one of the reasons I coach. 

Think of Michael Phelps, the most decorated gold medal Olympic athlete. Read his story about how aerobic exercise (swimming) helped him overcome his challenges in the abovementioned areas. He had one wise mother who found a way to help her son overcome significant life challenges.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many kids in our programs turned to running to stay connected and support each other through prayer.

Emotional and spiritual health is more important than all my running championships and academic accomplishments. Seeing children smile and find happiness during challenging times, whether due to COVID or any other circumstance, is more rewarding than any trophy or certificate.

Being outside with teammates in the fresh air is a Godsend in many beautiful ways and on different levels.

Other reasons to consider running and aerobic exercise include emotional health:

·       Sleep better at night

·       Relieve stress and anxiety

·       Connect with friends; we need others

·       Boost energy and productivity

·       Better able to cope with daily frustrations

·       Brain chemistry changes positively, and this lasts for hours. 

While there are always exceptions to just about any rule or situation, the benefits of aerobic exercise are verifiable, well-known in most environments, and promoted by high school, college, and health oversight organizations worldwide for most students.

Impacts Of Withholding Exercise As Punishment Or Discipline

However, in some environments where the benefits of aerobic exercise are lesser known, activity is sometimes withheld as a punishment or a disciplinary tactic when grades are in question. This approach is a significant concern, in my opinion, because grade and academic issues are compounded by withholding exercise, and emotional health is negatively impacted.

Fortunately, I've been blessed with people who understand exercise's benefits, as outlined above.  

The benefits of aerobic exercise listed above cease when used as a discipline tool for an individual. Needs improvement.                                   

I am not saying to discipline a person when it is needed. Try to find another creative way to discipline the person in question. I have worked with others for years to help identify more appropriate and impactful correction strategies. 

Why take away a proven way to help emotional and academic health if you don't have to?

The resources below outline how aerobic exercise correlates with brain development and academic achievement.                            

It is essential to conduct research on the benefits of aerobic exercises, such as running, from reliable sources. Investing time and effort to understand the advantages of this crucial topic can be highly beneficial and life-changing for some kids.


Coach Weber

Philippians 4:13

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