DEAR GRANDDADDY- A Teen, Parent, and Educator Advice Column BLOG #55

Dear Granddaddy, I don’t like the fact that my high school only has gym twice a week. Dakota- student

Bestselling and award-winning author, speaker, educator, and TV host.


Dakota, I wholeheartedly agree with you. I’m a big believer in the Old World Greek values of mind and body. Ancient Greece had some pretty cool and impressive philosophers who had very powerful minds. It also the original Olympics. Athletically, what could be better and more impressive than the Olympics? Hey, I can’t help it. There is just something so cool and so right about the mind-body connection.

I’d like to see kids have gym every day. And why not? Studies have found that increased exercise actually helps brain functioning, which is a directly correlates to kids doing better in school.

So with that said, why don’t our high school students have gym class more than twice a week? Maybe schools are trying to save money, or maybe they’re focusing on devoting more time to academics.  But, in the end, that really isn’t very smart.

Hey, we listened to studies that said that kids don’t do well in school if they’re hungry. We implemented breakfast programs to feed kids. So using this same logic, wouldn’t it make sense for schools to offer kids more exercise so they can do better in school, too?

Many schools in Asia do some morning exercise every day before academics begin, and take a look at their test scores! There might be something here that we’re missing in our American schools.

Well, Dakota, I’m happy you like gym class. Unfortunately, too many kids don’t. And too many schools don’t offer it enough. So continue to fully participate in your school’s gym class and then join a sports team after school. Or even just exercise on your own by lifting weights or going for a jog. Maybe even do what your parents used to do by playing a game of pick up ball after school. Trust me, you won’t be sorry. It’ll be fun. And you’ll be healthier and smarter because your mind and body will work better and be better connected, just like the Ancient Greeks.

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Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker, and educator who has appeared on over 100 television and radio shows. To find out more about Dan or to submit a question to him, please visit him on his website at: