Kids are more sedentary than ever, and it is impacting them at almost all levels. Think about it: kids used to run around and play until the streetlights came on, but they don’t do that anymore. Fewer kids are playing sports. Instead, most kids are sitting on their phones or tablets, playing video games, or dancing on TikTok. So why should you encourage your kids to actually exercise – and even ensure they get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day? Explore some of the benefits of exercise for kids:
Exercise Helps Temper Emotions
Exercise isn’t just about staying physically fit and burning calories. Exercise is imperative to mental health as well. Running around, playing sports, and increasing their heart rate helps children increase the amount of oxygen in their brains. When the brain gets more oxygen, the nerves and neurons develop secure connections.
When there are secure connections, the brain has a lower risk of learning disabilities and cognitive defects. Your child will also be able to deal with anxiety, depression, and mood swings because they are generating “feel good” chemicals in their brains when they move.
Exercise Increases Attention Span
Physical exercise and movement can also increase your child’s attention span. Part of this is because of club sports or organized team play because they need to learn different skills, movements, plays, and more.
They also learn how to work at something until they get it right, which is something many children lack in today’s instant gratification world.
Exercise Helps With Memory
Much of the modern school system relies on memorization – and even if there are problems with that, children do need to have strong memories. Some research shows that exercise builds up an area of the brain called the “dentate gyrus” which are cells associated with memory and memory loss.
When people exercise, they build up these cells and improve short term memory.
Exercise Increases A Child’s Capacity For Learning
Do you feel like your child may have reached a plateau in learning? Exercise can help! Some students have shown that exercise increases a body’s “brain-derived neurotrophic factor” or BDNF. When a child has strong BDNF, it is possible for them to branch out, form connections, and open themselves up to learning new skills.
Creativity And Exercise Are Linked
Many people have noticed that they have creative breakthroughs when they move around and get some exercise. Spending even thirty minutes on a treadmill or going on a run in a local park can help your child to be more creative in the way they think and express themselves.
Part of this is because of the release of serotonin in the brain, but it is also because repeated activities such as running where they don’t really need to focus on the movement allow their brains to think about other things.
How To Get A Child To Be More Active
Having trouble getting your child to be more active? Here are a few ways to encourage exercise and movement:
- Go with them! Model the behavior that you’d like to see.
- Find an activity that they like doing – not everyone loves football or riding a bike.
- Limit screen time by turning off the WiFi until they fit some movement into their day.
- Schedule movement into their days and keep it consistent.
- Don’t overdo it – children who get hurt or forced to do something they don’t like will rebel.
- Get exercise gear such as running shoes, jump ropes, or basketballs.
Sometimes it will take you a little bit to find the activities that your child loves, but once you find them, encourage them to do it. Even if your kid strikes out every time he’s at-bat, if he loves baseball, encourage him to keep trying and playing.
MindFinity Helps Kids Get Moving
If your child loves to move around and not sit still, it can be hard to get them to learn or do anything supplemental for their education. The good news is that MindFinity can help! Our award-winning program helps your children expand their brains and learn polymath thinking skills while dancing, singing, doing martial arts, and moving around! For just a few minutes a day, you can move with your child and help them to succeed today and into the future.
MindFinity combines education with exercise in a unique way that actually works. Interested in learning more? To learn more about MindFinity and sign up, click here.