Have you made a New Year resolution? We’ve heard some good ones so far – kids who want to grow a few centimetres, get better at drawing, see more of their friends… But how about this one – move your body more.
It’s a resolution many of us make at this time of year, especially if we feel we’ve spent too much time indoors over the holidays.
Do you know that feeling, of having too much of a good thing? Maybe too much time watching or playing on screens? You just want to get out and feel fresh air and run about?
Some schools in Paris decided last term that pupils weren’t doing enough exercise. They now make everyone get up and run, jump and generally shake their bodies for half an hour every day. (That’s on top of regular gym classes.)
Why? Well, researchers have found that the coronavirus lockdown increased the time children spent sitting around outside of school time – from about 3 hours to nearly 5 hours a day.
Now, you might enjoy watching TV, playing video games, reading WoW!…
But sitting too much isn’t good news for our health. Scientists reckon that we need at least about an hour of exercise a day to keep our bodies fit and to avoid our food turning into fat. (Exercise also cheers you up – it releases chemicals into our brains that can make us feel joyful!)
If you walk or cycle to school, you should be well on your way to doing your daily hour’s exercise. But if you take the bus or go in a car, then you need to make sure you add some active playing to your day.
That’s why, in Paris, “run, jump, throw, dance” are now key words at 21 primary schools around the city. For 30 minutes a day.
The idea is supported by the people who are organising the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. Try moving your body to this fun video that they’ve put out to encourage us all to join in and get fit!
Muscle up your brain
But teachers are finding that the exercises do more than get pupils’ bodies in better shape – for the Olympics or just for ordinary life. Getting fit seems to be making kids brainier…
Have you heard people say “your brain is your most important muscle”?
Well, obviously, your brain isn’t actually a muscle. But scientists have found that moving your actual muscles helps feed our brains with fresh oxygen in our blood. And that seems to help us think.
A study in England found that 11-year-olds who exercised fairly intensely for half an hour a day got better results that those who didn’t – especially in English, maths and science.
Not bad, eh? How about asking your teacher if you can swap some class time for games outdoors?!