Updated: Sunday, 18 Apr 2010, 10:13 AM EDT
Published : Sunday, 18 Apr 2010, 9:22 AM EDT
(WTNH) - Dr. David Katz from the Yale University School of Medicine and his son Gabriel joined Good Morning Connecticut Weekend to talk about how exercise in school can not only help children stay fit, it can also help them stay focused in the classroom.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new report on school-based physical activity and its association with academic performance this week. They found that exercise didn't detract from learning in the classroom - it actually helped children stay focused.
This is something Dr. Katz had already known, since developing a program of his own called ABC for Fitness, which stands for "Activity Bursts in the Classroom," after his own son Gabriel was having trouble focusing in school.
The ABC for Fitness program shows schools how to restructure physical activity into multiple, brief episodes of activity in classrooms throughout the day without taking away valuable time for classroom instruction. This helps children "let off some steam" and get back to their studies, rather than staying distracted.
"Rambunctiousness in children is normal," said Dr. Katz. "It calls out for recess, not Ritalin."
The program also helps children get the daily exercise they need to stay healthy and active. Fighting childhood obesity is crucial to avoiding health problems like heart disease and diabetes later in life.
Any school can do the ABC for Fitness program, which is available for free on Dr. Katz's website .