Local child development expert says research shows that regular physical activity improves children’s behavior and academic performance

As families begin to plan for the start of a new school year, owner Erin Ely of The Little Gym of Baton Rouge highlights a study* published by the American Academy of Pediatrics of 26 studies involving more than 10,000 children ages 4 – 13. Researchers concluded that incorporating physical activity into a child’s school day improves both classroom behavior and academic achievement in all academic subjects.

“It’s clear that physical activity can play a significant role in both social and academic performance,” said Ely. “U.S. guidelines** call for a minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity daily for children for optimum benefit. However, many schools are under pressure to devote more and more time to academics in an effort to raise test scores, making it difficult for them to set aside time for physical activity. That’s where programs at The Little Gym can make a real difference.”

Programs at The Little Gym of Baton Rouge revolve around active play, complementing and enhancing the traditional school experience. The Little Gym gives children up to age 12 a safe and inspiring space to direct their energy, build confidence, cultivate flexibility and focus, and develop key social skills. Classes for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers four months and older help establish active, healthy habits and foster social skills like listening and cooperation.

For parents who are not certain if it’s worth the time, money, or effort to involve their children in extracurricular activities, a recent article on the lifestyle site SheKnows.com*** reveals the not-so-obvious additional benefits of after school activities. According to the experts, children who are involved in activities after school develop decision-making skills by learning what they do and don’t like to do, confidence by succeeding at something they enjoy, socialization skills by interacting freely with other children, and strategic thinking and communications skills by participating in team activities.

“At The Little Gym, we believe that kids should be able to act like kids,” said Ely. “We also believe that a fun environment provides a different context for learning that is especially conducive to developing the skills that help children succeed both in school and in life. That’s why our high-energy programs are designed to promote not only physical development skills and confidence but also critical life skills like sharing, listening, concentration, and decision making.”

The Little Gym of Baton Rouge, located at 5735 Essen Lane, Suite 100, is now enrolling students for the 2018-2019 Season. For more information, please contact owner Erin Ely at 225-757-9930 or eely@thelittlegym.com, visit them at www.thelittlegym.com/BatonRougeLA, or go to www.TheLittleGym.com.

Contributed by The Little Gym of Baton Rouge