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Five ways to keep kids active over the summer

According to a 2011 study by researchers at Georgia Health Sciences University, routine exercise helps overweight children perform better in math. When students exercised for 40 minutes a day for three months, they demonstrated improvements in complex thinking and decision making – key skills that are used in math. In fact, the more the children exercised, the more they improved. For instance, the students who exercised 40 minutes a day for three months showed an average increase of 3.8 in intelligence scores. The results from the study also showed that kids who exercised just 20 minutes a day also benefited, just with less success. Researchers believe all children – not just overweight kids –could benefit and achieve similar results.

Are your children lounging through the dog-days of summer? Try motivating your kids to get active with these tips:

  • Limit TV watching to roughly two hours a day. Have your kids earn their leisure time by having them do jumping jacks or sit-ups during commercials. If there are multiple children present, have them play Simon Says or Duck Duck Goose.
  • Does your family time revolve around watching TV together? Modify your routine with activities like walking together in the park, playing basketball or tennis, or swimming.
  • Have your child join a local sports team or enroll them in a summer camp. They will gain physical, psychological and social benefits from participating in an activity they enjoy.
  • Have your children spend time with their friends outside. Get them to play games like tag or make an obstacle course in the front yard.
  • If your kids are interested in video games, get them off the couch by purchasing active, movement based games.