Research suggests that gratitude emerges in children between the ages of seven and 10, but as those children go back to school, new research also suggests that that age group could benefit from morning exercise and yoga.
Gym classes are typically held during school hours, but many schools have reduced physical activity time in favor of academic studies.
Despite that, studies have frequently shown that physical activity before school can help students stay focused. Recently, researchers at Arizona State university decided to put more work into that theory.
Researchers observed 77 students in grades three and four from a high-achieving private school and an average-performing public school. Obesity rates were 24% and 39% at the two schools, respectively.
During the 2013-14 school year, the students participated in a five-week runing and walking club two mornings every week between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m..
Each session lasted approximately 15 to 20 minutes, and during that time students were tasked with getting at least five minutes of moderate to vigorous activity logged on the pedometers they wore.
On average, private school students were on task approximately 61% of the time on days they didn’t exercise, and 77% of the time on the days they did.
Similarly, public school students were on task 63% of the time on days they didn’t exercise, and 78% of the time on the days they did.
Exercise and yoga have been proven to have relaxing effects on the human body and mind, no matter the skill level.
With regular practice, yoga can lessen chronic pain, lower blood pressure, and even help reduce insomnia.
Even more importantly, yoga has been proven to help reduce stress, which is a major factor affecting students who are tasked with sitting still and listening to teachers for upwards of six hours a day.
There are over 100 schools of yoga, but no matter the exercise that children choose, the mental and physical effects remain the same.
Researchers revealed that children can spend more time sitting and working quietly, as well as listening to instructions, on days where they practice some form of physical activity.
Be it walking, running, jumping, or doing yoga, these activities are essential to helping children stay calm and focused throughout the school day.