Improve Your Child’s Grades—No Extra Studying Necessary

The connection between grade and sportsThink the only way for your kid to do better in school is for him or her to devote hours a day to homework and tutoring? Not necessarily. The key to your child acing more classes could actually be him or her spending more time running around. Physical activity is full of school-specific benefits. Being more active improves concentration, classroom behavior, grades and standardized test scores. Even something as simple as walking in the morning helps kids feel less stressed while taking tests, resulting in better grades.

Why the connection? Charles Basch of Columbia University says the cause is likely the increased oxygen flow to the brain that occurs during periods of activity. That leads to increased brain activity in areas responsible for learning, memory and higher thinking.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that young people (six to 17 years old) rack up at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Unfortunately, only half of all school children meet this guideline. One reason why: More and more schools have cut Phys. Ed. funding to increase classroom time.

So what to do? If your kid loves sports, sign him or her up for an after-school program that focuses on their activity of choice. And if your child isn’t a natural athlete, try to spend some time in the evening doing something fun and active together. Even walking with them to and from school is a great option! You’ll impact their grades, have a chance to talk about each other’s days and teach them an important lesson, which is that healthy habits can be easily incorporated into every day.


This blog post is part of #MIKidsCan, an initiative created by Blue Cross Blue Shield Michigan to promote positive change in the health and well-being of Michigan youth. To learn more about the campaign, visit



Photo credit: ND Strupler

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