Active PE in school, like running, playing sports such as basketball, football, soccer, swimming, etc., spikes the children’s brain activity and prepares them for the day-to-day school-stress. It also increases your child’s retention of new information and helps them with problem solving skills, so they react better to complex situations.
Studies have shown that children who exercise regularly almost duplicated their reading abilities, and boosted their problem solving effectiveness. If your child is not exercising in an effective regular basis in school, it is a good idea to have them do it as an extra-curricular activity.
It is important to note that exercise, on a regular basis, not only improves physical fitness but also assists brain’s fitness. While exercising the heart beats faster, pumping more oxygen to the brain cells, thus providing optimal conditions for neuroplasticity-brain cell growth, repair and creation of new connections between neurons. Including neurons active in learning and memory.
Physical exercise is not only important for your body’s health, it also keeps your brain sharp, particularly aerobic exercise has positive effects on brain functions on multiple fronts, from the molecular to behavioural level*. Even exercising briefly for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions.
After a good workout, one feels relaxed yet energized, motivated and in a good mood. Exercise has a stimulating effect, relieves stress and anxiety, and it gives clarity to our thoughts.
When your child experiences a shut-down, is mentally exhausted or is just distracted and inattentive, he or she should try switching-on with some jumping jacks, counting each one of them…this is a cardiovascular exercise that needs coordination and focus, then return to class, or assignment being performed.
*Studies from UCLA, Stockholm, U. Georgia