It’s a zoo at our house lately — well, actually it’s more like the Olympics.

Whatever you want to call it, it’s really busy around here!

While taking a breather between gymnastics competitions for my 15-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son, we found some interesting research from Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS).

They discovered that exercise is good not only for the body but also the mind.

First- through sixth-graders in Charleston, S.C. took part in a program that called for exercise at school 40 minutes per day, five days a week. Previously, these kids spent only 40 minutes per week exercising at school.

Researchers compared state standardized reading test scores for the year before and the year after initiation of the program.

The percentage of students reaching their goal on the state tests increased from 55 percent before the program was initiated to 68.5 percent after the program was initiated.

Can you imagine the impact if the kids had also improved their diets?!

“More studies are needed,” researchers said, “but there is growing substantial evidence that this kind of physical activity may help improve academic behavior, cognitive skills and attitudes.”

So, “How does this translate to teaching kids about the Torah?” you may ask…

Well, let’s think about that.

If physical activity can help improve “cognitive skills” and especially “attitudes”, exercise is indeed an important part of training up a child in the way (Torah/Messiah) they should go (Proverbs 22:6).

So often we see kids who are lazy, disrespectful, or have a sense of entitlement. Is it just “society” or is there more to it?

Could it be that they’re not getting enough exercise and/or eating improperly?

Could it be that society’s decline is the RESULT of not getting enough exercise and eating junk food?

Living out our faith is not just about obeying the Torah. YeHoVaH created us with a physical body and mind with which to carry out the Torah — that’s why paying attention to our health is so important.

In fact, YeHoVaH’s human health instructions permeate the Word.

We just need to slow down and read these instructions for what they are instead of trying to spiritualize them; some Scripture passages are about human diet and health, plain and simple.

After all, without our health we can’t do anything for the Kingdom… neither can our kids.

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