We all know how important exercise is for our children, yet the benefits also go beyond just being fit and healthy. In fact, countless studies have shown that physical activity is essential for your child’s learning and development. Just 15 minutes of exercise can not only drastically improve their attention span, but it’s been found that kids who take part in sports on a regular basis are much more likely to be calmer and perform better in class. Here’s some more reasons why exercise helps kids learn better and promotes academic achievement.
How Much Exercise Is Enough?
In general, the number of hours of exercise a week shouldn’t exceed your child’s age. However, on a daily basis kids above six years old should be getting roughly one hour of exercise, which can be broken down into shorter intervals if needed.
How Does Exercise Affect My Kids Learning And Development?
Physical activity- whether it’s team sports, bike riding, swimming at the beach or playground games - has huge positive effects on the brain and on school performance.
Improves And Stimulates Brain Function
Exercise not only stimulates brain growth but also helps boost cognitive performance. This is because during and after exercise the flow of oxygen to the brain is increased, which means there are more neurotransmitters, which ensure the survival of neurons in the areas of the brain that are responsible for learning, memory and higher thinking. This increased oxygen also helps improve levels of focus and concentration, which are crucial when it comes to improved academic performance. Finally, being active stimulates brain plasticity by increasing the growth of new connections between cells. In other words it will drastically improve your child’s memory and their ability to retain new information.
Boosts Energy Levels
Regular movement will help boost your child’s energy levels because they’ll benefit from improved circulation and blood flow to their body and brain. This increased blood flow essentially helps their body deliver more oxygen and essential nutrients to their tissues, which means they’ll feel more alert, energised and productive during class. In fact, just having a small lift in energy can really help with learning and focus at school, making academic progress much easier.
Helps Refine Motor Skills
For younger children, physical activity can help with the development of motor skills, which are the basic movements they need for everyday life. This can include things like improving hand-eye coordination, writing, using a computer, making things, completing puzzles or tying their shoelaces.
Along with improving a child’s mental health and mood, exercise also helps boost levels of self-esteem. Not only does taking part and enjoying a sport help raise up confidence levels, it’s also a great way for kids to make friends, be part of a team and feel good too!
Develops Social Skills
Exercise provides children with the perfect opportunity to make new friends, which also helps them develop and nurture their social skills. For example, team sports are ideal for kids to practice and refine important communication skills such as learning how to read non-verbal cues, practice teamwork and take on leadership or mentor roles.
Countless More Benefits
Alongside the positive effect exercise has on your child’s learning and development, there’s many other benefits to your children being active. Here’s just a few more to consider:
- Help strengthen bones and muscles
- Helps keep their mental state of mind healthy and reduces levels of depression and anxiety
- Reduces the risk of your child developing type 2 diabetes and becoming overweight
- Give kids an opportunity to make new friends and learn new skills
- Increases leadership, time management and team-building skills
- Helps build up a positive attitude and good behaviour