Everyone knows how beneficial daily activities and exercises can be for your mental and physical health. At least 30 minutes of daily activity can boost your memory, help you sleep, and improve blood flow throughout the entire body. But how does physical exercise specifically benefit your child’s brain?
According to the World Economic Forum, a 2018 study done by scientists at the University of Granada in Spain found that “children who are physically fit have a greater volume of grey matter in the brain’s frontal and temporal regions and the calcarine cortex, all of which are important to executive function,” and helps with learning, motor skills, and processing visual information. The study went on to find that children who were “physically fit” had better academic performance than their peers who were not participating in regular exercise. At Brain Forest Centers, helping your little superhero tap into their full mental potential is just part of helping them succeed. We also encourage daily exercise at home and support those who participate in athletics. Here is everything you should know about how exercise benefits your child’s brain.
How Much Physical Exercise Should Your Child Get?
The time your child spends getting exercise varies with age. Daily exercise is essential for growth and development, especially when they’re younger. For children ages three to five, the CDC recommends that they remain active throughout the day. At minimum, children in the preschool age range should have three hours a day of exercise or physical activity, and their screen time should be limited.
School-aged children are considered those between the ages of 6 through 17 and should have at least one hour or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. They should look to incorporate cardio and aerobic exercises to strengthen their bones and build healthy muscles.
Improved Blood Flow
Moving their body and building their muscles isn’t just for their physical benefit, it’s also for their mental health. Running, playing games, and being involved in sports can help increase your child’s blood flow and the amount of oxygen their brain gets. Increasing the oxygen levels in their blood and in their brain can help your child’s nerves and neurons develop secure connections that are less likely to experience disruptions.
Secure connections in the brain can lead to a lower risk of cognitive defects and learning disabilities. These healthy connections can also help your child deal with anxiety, mood swings, and depression, all conditions that disrupt your child’s development and ability to navigate life’s challenges as they age.
Increased Attention Span
Physical exercise results in a healthier brain, which can help your child focus and pay attention. Finding physical activities that your child likes to engage in can increase the likelihood that they’ll participate and also help increase their attention span. Some activities such as organized sports or clubs develop discipline, another important aspect that can keep your child focused.
According to a study done in the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, children suffering from ADD/ADHD, autism, anxiety, or mood disorders benefited from cybercycling physical education. In fact, the report states that “children in the intervention group, who ranged in ages 7 to 16, displayed up to 51% less disruptive behaviors than during the control period, with the effect particularly strong on the days they participated in the cybercycling class.”
Enhanced Learning Skills
With an increased attention span and better oxygenated blood flow, it’s only natural that exercise benefits the brain and your child’s learning skills. Children of all developmental ages and cognitive abilities can improve their learning by getting the recommended amount of exercise every day. In fact, exercise has shown to improve concentration, memory, and classroom behavior.
Exercise makes people feel more energetic as well. If your child is struggling with their homework or appears sluggish in the afternoons, then consider enrolling them in a physical activity or encourage play time before dinner. This can give them the energy needed for studying and help them retain the information presented to them. One hour or more of exercise could also alleviate stress, which damages your child’s brain; bring them back to homeostasis; and bring balance back to their entire body, allowing them to focus on their academics and boosting their confidence in their learning abilities.
Physical Activities to Do with Your Kids
If you’re looking for activities to do with your kids, there are plenty of resources online. Yet, some of the most common are ball games outside, playing dress up or superheroes, cone drills, or even classic gym exercises like jumping jacks and sprints. If you do workouts at home, consider tailoring them so you can includes your kids. This is a fun and easy way to ensure your child remains active, and it can be a bonding activity for all members of your family.
Exercise Their Brain at Brain Forest Centers
Experts at Brain Forest Centers are standing by to help your little superhero regain their confidence in their cognitive abilities. Our specialized, pain-free exercises benefit the brain and are tailored to your child’s needs to help retrain their brain pathways. New neuropathways bring them back to a healthier, normal state of mind. Contact us today to find out how we can help your child!