Staying fit has its obvious physical benefits for both children and adults. Less explored is the advantage of exercise for a healthy mind. According to Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, there is strong evidence that regular aerobic exercise is an easy way for healthy people to advance a range of executive functions. While children’s minds are still developing, it’s important to nurture them in every way possible. Here are some ways in which exercise can benefit a child’s brain.
The Brain Benefits of Fitness:
When you exercise, the blood flow in your body increases and more blood is sent to your brain. Blood delivers glucose and oxygen, which are absolutely vital for the brain’s ability to function.
A 2007 study by Columbia University showed us evidence that structured exercise programs increase the production and development of the memory section of the brain.
The same study points us to results of increased executive cognition skills like reasoning, some types of learning, and reducing neural damage from stress.
John Ratey, M.D., shares that exercise encourages the brain’s nerve cells to increase their communication with each other which leads to a child’s interest in learning and their capacity for knowledge.
A stable exercise routine also impacts a child’s sleep schedule, helping them fall asleep faster and sleep longer compared to other kids who aren’t exercising. When you have enough sleep your mood is lifted, your judgment is improved and your memory recollection skills are elevated.
Finally, when we exercise our bodies release endorphins, which energize us and lift our emotions.
As if we needed more reasons to engage our kids in a game of tag, a walk around the block or a fun sport!