That's the finding of a study to be presented this week by the American Heart Association.
In the study, the emphasis was on fitness not on body weight. Scientists measured fitness levels over a two-year period and found those students who were fit had the highest scores on average on standardized tests.
Namaste Charter School on Chicago's Southwest Side incorporates fitness and healthy eating into its academic program.
"The perception is that, if you do this kind of physical activity during the school day, you are taking learning time away from students, but what we find is that by giving kids this little bit of extra physical activity time, it helps their learning time be a lot more productive," said Principal Allison Slade, Namaste Charter School.
Namaste was not part of the study, but experts say, the results are in line with other studies that show physical activity can result in positive mood, healthy blood sugar levels and increased ability to focus and pay attention.