Does your child’s daily routine allow physical activity? Or does it have your child doing homework and other things – and leaves very little time for it?
Physical exercise isn’t important just to keep children healthy – it stimulates the brain and increases cognitive performance. Lots of studies have proven that exercises are a way to help them focus, learn, and achieve good academic results.
Let’s look at five ways physical activity can help your kid succeed in school.
1. Exercise Improves Creativity
Many studies have shown an increase in creativity when comparing two
groups of people. The control groups that did not exercise at all were not as creative as
those who did.
Science says that getting your creative juices flowing is easier after a period of physical activity. The reason? Exercises stimulate Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), which facilitates the growth of the new cells in the hippocampus.
Exercise is the perfect solution for those moments when you feel like your brain is foggy and you can’t concentrate. Even a couple of minutes can be enough.
A nice way to start exercising for kids is scooting. Get your kid a scooter or a Y flicker scooter – that’ll make exercise both fun and beneficial.
2. Better Memory
Another benefit that physical exercise can provide is a memory boost. After a few weeks of intense studying, for example, kids might find it hard to memorize material, so supporting them is a good idea.
There are even many studies that have proven which parts of the brain work best when doing physical activity. When a child is determined to do simple physical exercise, the impact of studying won’t feel as intense.
So, take your kid for a walk in the park or a bike trip. Ideally, this should be done twice a week for at least one hour. The results will follow pretty soon!
3. Improved Focus
Every classroom is a beehive of activity, and kids often have difficulties distinguishing relevant information from distractions coming from other sources. When these distractions happen at the same time, focusing on the task at hand becomes even more difficult, so academic performance might suffer.
Physical exercise can increase the ability to retain information and focus on the project at hand. This study published in Neuroscience Journal found that even a short period of moderate treadmill walking produced major improvements in performance in tasks requiring children’s focus.
In that study, preadolescent students (average age= 9.5 years) walked on a motor-driven treadmill and later completed academic assessments such as reading. Those who exercised demonstrated an increase in response accuracy and better performance on the academic achievement test.
4. Enhanced Executive Functioning (Logic, Reasoning, Problem-Solving)
Many people need to be physically active to get their problem-solving, logic, and reasoning going. Essay writing is a good example: students need to surpass the difficulties of the so-called writer’s block.
Research suggests that physical activity improves self-control, logic, reasoning, and problem-solving skills. In this study, for example, university students who were involved in aerobic exercises performed better compared to the control group.
Although the positive results were seen in all participants, the authors of the study said that physical exercise had more effect on female students. Specifically, there was a “more intense association with females” in attention function and perceptual-motor speed capacity.
That’s why physical activity is recommended for improving executive functioning. Bike riding for at least 30 minutes a day, for example, could be a good start for kids. This activity can be repeated a few times a week. The effects are typically noticeable after several weeks of consistent exercising.
5. Lower Stress levels
One of the biggest drawbacks of a learning process is a too high level of stress. If kids are exposed to stress consistently without any alleviating activities, their academic performance might decrease.
By doing physical activity, it is possible to considerably decrease these hormones in the body. In this way, kids can feel much more relaxed, calm, and positive. This is highly recommended, especially in the moments before an exam or important project.
Physical Activity and Learning: Conclusion
When children exercise their bodies, they also exercise their minds. Regular physical exercise can help them become more attentive, sharpen their memory, and improve mental health.
Helping your kid to be physically active is a good first step towards improving academic performance. With every exercise, they’ll get that focus and energy they need to do great in school.