In the researches done so far, there has been a difficulty in establishing the exact relationship between sports/physical fitness and academic performance. In view of this, there is a great concern on the intelligence concerning physical trainings, additional physical learning classes, and suitable physical characteristics to quantify academic performances. There are questions on whether there is much more other than the physical exercises on the influence of genetic factors, individual’s ways of thinking and the kind of sports as some of the determining factors to the outcomes on academic performances. For instance “movement accelerates the flow of the key nutrients to the brain, like oxygen and glucose: shortage of oxygen in the brain results in disorientation, confusion, fatigue, sluggishness, and concentration and memory problems” (PE4life 16). It therefore becomes important to understand appropriately physical fitness concerning the above-mentioned factors in order to establish the proper outcomes concerning class performances. Academic institutions are basic places where many of young children/students are easy to reach for and present the opportunity to take part in physical educational classes that contributes to physical fitness. Some studies indicate that in countries like United States of America, over 60 % of children aged below the age of thirteen do not take part in well-scheduled physical activities educational lessons either in school or out of school (Coalter 96). The physical modifications resulting from exercises and better physical fitness correspond positively to the mode of knowledge acquiring and growth circumstances especially when introduced at early ages of development. Thus, this paper illustrates that physical fitness contributes positively to the mental capabilities and mechanisms that enable understanding hence better academic performance.
Positive cognitive effects resulting from physical fitness
Physical activities increase the rate at which blood flows through the body and the brain that eventually lead to better responses of the physical movements. The outcomes could either be short-term and long-term effects on the individual. The short-term effects can lead to reduced academic gains where else the long-term effects can lead to increased physical occupations like addiction to favourite sport like basketball which will eventually lead to need for high rates of essential nourishments to compensate for the utilized energy during these long duration of physical activities enhancing physical fitness (Coalter 95). However, it is important to take to account the durations of participation as it has its effects, as we shall see later: extreme participation has negative benefits to the cognitive factors. It is apparent that better health constitutes to good physical fitness to human beings who have the willing and motivation to participate in exercises. To young children, physical activities have great contribution to their development both physically and psychologically. At these young ages, mental abilities have great influence from the activities that are taking place within their environments because they contribute to the learning and moulding of their characters.
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A study by Etnier et al. as illustrated in Coalter show that for children between the ages of six and thirteen, physical mobility increased perception that contributed positively to better mental developments. It comes surprisingly that for the young children; all types of physical activities contribute to some degree the development of the young minds, which can sometimes be different to older ages because of the uniqueness of every individual (96). The organization of timetables in the way the physical exercises take place will lead to programming of the minors’ minds such that they have explicit effects in the shorter-term modifications to children and teenagers’ actions and perception executions. Although this can be true to these ages, they can vary greatly depending on location of an individual. Therefore physical fitness enables proper blood flow through out the body and mind increasing perception and alertness which a positive contributors to better academic achievements. Physical exercises will act to modify the learning conditions such that they encourage and allow the capability to remember with an influence going as long as a minute (PE4life 16).
The time spent participating in physical activities affects physical fitness hence academic performance
The aspects that have systematic instructions working towards academic accomplishments influence the positive associations between physical activities and academic activities. These include the contributions to physical fitness because of good health and times spend on certain physical activities. To small children who are still developing, the scheduled physical programs in school are the best procedures which can offer these developing children the best physical exercises where the can understand well the benefits of good health and satisfying aspects with a long-lasting positive impact in their future lives. Execution of these procedures should be such that they provide excellence because they do not only present cheaper options to undertake them but also reduce obesity amongst the young children. Recommendations are that young students should undertake at least an hour per day of physical activities that does not only constitute to instruction from their teachers but also the knowledge they acquire from such activities. In fact, “children who engage in daily physical education show superior motor fitness, academic performance, and attitude toward school as compared with their counterparts who do not have physical education” (PE4life 16). It is through such properly scheduled educational programs that enable young students to achieve long-lasting benefits of positive and healthy life styles. In addition, when they understand on the benefits of physical fitness, they become in a position to take managerial authorities on their own health status leading to proper physical exercises hence high probabilities of promising academic performances.
If students take part in short of physical activities, they will have the chance to stimulate their mental and physical activities to certain status that enable fitness. In addition, daily participation in physical exercises have great benefits to children in that they are able to lessen their stress levels, construct their individual capacity for activity and obtain a sense of self reliance. It is through the physical activities that they can continue an active and healthy ways of living.
A study carried out constituting of random samples of grade six students indicated that less vigorous physical activities of less than an hour could have reduced mental stimulations, which lead to low academic performances, an indication that more vigorous but not extreme physical activities contribute to better academic performances (Coalter 97). Another study by Lindner as showed in Coalter indicates that for 4,690 students aged between the ages of nine and eighteen, the frequency at which these children participated in systematic physical activities, had comparatively better academic accomplishments, where else those who had none or extreme frequent physical occupations had poor class achievements (Coalter 98). The chances of poor or unsatisfying academic results have high possibilities of arising from a confusing undertaking of physical activities. The unscheduled physical activities keep on changing the programming of the minds hence resulting to an improper mental development. Moreover, the extra longer periods in physical activities can have negative benefits to academic performance because they consume extra amounts of energies such that the levels of contribution get low affecting the self-esteem on learning eventually unsatisfying academic achievements.
Individual efforts to achieve physical fitness influences self-esteem
The act of positive thinking results to positive achievements. It all rounds up on having a positive attitude and concentration on something to benefit from its advantages. Therefore, “mental focus and concentration levels in young children improve significantly after they engage in structured physical activity” (PE4life 16). This shows that if students have positive thinking and required concentration about physical fitness, they then will have the motive to work hard and achieve their set academic goals where else those with negative thinking mostly will end up failing to achieve their expectations. Self-confidence in academic works boosts the morale and capability to achieve good results in academic works. The same applies to sports or in other words physical fitness where a positive thought on such activities betters the chances of encouragement to achieve physical fitness increasing self-efficiency hence high probabilities of achieving the set goals. This attitude has better development of motor techniques and success. In addition, with such a positive attitude, there is an increased appetite to learn and practice good characters, which will eventually increase the chances of better academic performances (Coalter 98). A study by Gruber as shown in Coalter found that there is a positive correlation between self-esteem and physical academic classes (98). Self-esteem will have great influence to people who are actively involved in physical activities. With a great physical posture, it encourages a great feeling of self-confident which will increase self-esteem and vice versa especially for the obese persons. This is usually because of the perception that their looks are ugly, they are not worth, and don not deserve such achievements associated with good physical fitness. Irrespective of this, if the big/obese persons try to have the positive thinking and determination to acquire good physical fitness, then they have the drive that propels them such that they even achieve better results from physical activities than those who have normal conditions (already physically fit). Their self-esteem will finally lead to achievement of their goals such as better academic performances.
As much as self-esteem can lead to better achievements on the physical fitness, which influences the mental contentment, the thinking environment and the social factors will contribute to the physical activity achievements. It is the feeling of belonging to either a particular congregation or society, which will affect self-management and understanding. Self-freedom and directing will come a lot from an environment that seeks to promote self-esteem as an essential component of physical fitness such that individual expertise matches the set activities and skills to acquire encouraging self-motivation hence success (Coalter 102).
Gender effect of physical fitness (Women achieve academic excellence more than boys as a result of physical fitness)
The human anatomy contributes a lot to the outcome of the physical fitness towards academic performance. With female students having the tendency of getting satisfied with their lower academic achievements than boys in respect to physical fitness, it has no connection to the attitude/self esteem which an individual will have concerning physical fitness. In a study by Manson consisting of sixty girls and forty boys as reported in Coalter, to boys, there was satisfaction on the their physical characteristics like weight, looks and apprehended physical admiration were more contenting compared to girls because girls have other counterbalances which tended to fulfil low achievements as a factor of physical fitness. In addition, gender function towards achievement where feminine role directions have less feelings about looks affect self-esteem as well as essential characters of individual gender orientation that constitute to manner in which a contesting environment is set concerning individual achievements (102).
Sometimes there are high chances of girls gaining positively from physical activities than the boys because of boys’ extra interests on particular sports, which might not favour the girls in the view of girls’ sex organization. Taking part in agile activities, showing contest, self-fulfilment, and success does not count a lot to girls hence influencing better academic performance on girls than boys’ abilities (Coalter 102). It is therefore important to note that self-esteem that can better academic performance has positive relationships to age, sex, and environment of different individuals.
The type of physical activity/sport contributes to physical fitness
Although there might be difficulties on establishing the exact relations of sports kinds and academic achievements, the choice of sport has much influence from medieval factors that include social aspects. For instance, in the United States of America, for white students there is a positive correlation between physical activities and academic performances while for the blacks it is insignificant. For a survey carried out on a group of 5,000 students between grades 8 and 10, taking part in American football and basketball showed a reduced academic performance as opposed to other students taking part in different activities (Coalter 105). Such sports will tend to utilize most of energies in negative benefits instead of in learning because they much tend to capture the mentality of the participants in an addictive manner. Victims of such situations tend to loose concentration in class, which eventually leads to poor performances in academics. However, other sports like athletics have positive benefits concerning academic performances (PE4life 16). Although individual financial and cultural misfortunes from ones’ background can contribute to sport selection, the general participation of addictive kinds of sport lowers academic performances. The greater the time spend participating in these kinds of sports increases physical activities eventually fitness and coupled by the interaction with different people from diverse backgrounds which can have some bad influences, it therefore can lead to acquisition of bad habits like drug addictions with an eventual consequence on academic achievements of the victims. The much time they will spend interacting will strengthen their social and academic losses. It then results to that poor academic outcomes that arise from certain sports have much relation to the social backgrounds characteristics rather than the sport itself.
Physical fitness reduces anxiety and extreme melancholy hence greater positive state of mind
The composition of anxiety and reduced physical vitality are associated in the way they affect the mood of an individual. The short-term duration effect can indicate the mood of an individual concerning anxiety and depression. For example in developed countries like United States of America, mental disorders constitutes to 22 % of sickness where anxiety and depression contributes to approximately 38 million individual cases with almost half of it consisting of young ages below 14 which they eventually continue to suffer throughout their adulthood (Tenenbaum and Eklund 474). In the current medical situation, half of such cases can cure from already established treatment procedures (that can be expensive) which then calls for extra need to establish other methods that can affectively cure mental disorders. In order to take care of the remaining cases, physical activities are a hopeful method that cannot only be cheap to undertake, but also a safe preventive measure to mental disorders. According to Ratey as illustrated in PE4life habitual physical activity, have similar consequences just like medicines for alleviating depression as they have a beneficial factor of physical activity on state of mind and feeling (16). A sound mind has high probabilities of performing better in class again dictated by individual characters.
On a different perspective, looking at anxiety as a disagreeable strong instinctive feeling, that has a high correlation with a denial aspect of cognitive state of disturbed mind, uncertainty, uneasiness, and mind arousal. This associates with activities like the inner reactions (high heart beats) and physical reactions like quivering and general weakness of body, anxiety coupled by depression work to distort the normal functioning of the brain. Such a state can be because of foreseeing imaginary exposure to harm, inability, termination, mental strain, or excitement coming from unknown inner supernatural struggles (Tenenbaum and Eklund 474).
In the treatment of mental disorders, depression has emotional reactions such as unhappiness, complete loss of hope and deterrence with an eventual consequence of lower self-esteem, lack of innocence and fear of personal conduct. As earlier discussed, low self esteem have a negative contribution to the positive thinking which eventually leads to lack of motivation and eagerness to learn leading to decreased academic performances.
From the above discussion on the different aspects that affect physical fitness, it is evident that physical fitness contributes positively to the mental capabilities and mechanisms that enable understanding hence better academic performance. As a factor to academic performance, time spent on physical activities, which lead to physical fitness, affects the cognitive factors of students leading to a positive influence on academic achievement of the students. In addition, individual efforts to positive thinking regardless of gender, which has its independent effect, contribute to a positive attitude on physical fitness hence convincing academic performances. Moreover, the type of physical activity will have a varying effect on anxiety and depression of a student such that the final outcome relating to academic achievement depends on the attitude which a student has on the kind of sport which eventually affects the status of the mind: either positively or negatively. In conclusion, it is important to include well-organized physical educational activities especially at entry levels that have set goals to achieving physical fitness, as this moulds the psychological factors from young ages, which ends up improving academic performances.
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