Physical Exercise Helps Your Brain
Throughout the school day, we provide opportunities for children to engage in exercise and outside time. Many of our parents ensure their children are engaged in recreational sports and activities outside of school. Why are these things important? When your child is engaged in soccer practice, swim meets, basketball games, tennis tournaments, gymnastics, or whatever they play, they are doing more than just simply having fun. Your child’s active life helps their brains.
A book by renowned neuropsychiatry expert, Harvard professor Dr. John Ratey, in called Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, details the benefits of exercise for the brain:
- Exercise “optimizes” a child’s mindset to improve focus, attention, and motivation.
- Physical activity causes nerve cells to link to one another, unlocking the possibility to learn new information.
- Athletic activity gives the shot in the arm new nerve cells in the hippocampus they need to develop in the area of the brain associated with both emotion and memory.
Athletic activity helps students grow stronger physically, while their brains grow more ready for new information.
At St. Paul Lutheran of Northville, Michigan, we want students to have every opportunity to grow and learn. Better fitness leads to higher test scores and better performance in the classroom; therefore, you will find our students actuve every day.
Research Supports the Role of Physical Activity in Education
There is a substantial amount of research regarding the role of physical activity in education. There is no doubt about their correlation:
- University of Illinois’ Beckman Institute performed research that concluded physical activity improves cognitive performance through the development of white matter integrity.
- Research completed by the University of Columbia determined regular intense exercise increases the size of the hippocampus in children.
- Exercise helps mitigate and counteract the effects of stress and anxiety. By reducing stress, students are able to learn better and more effectively.
Physical Activity Promotes Character Development
In addition to the benefits of physical activity for the brain, athletics promotes development in children, instilling many positive skills:
- Teamwork and communication: Team sports require communication between teammates that can foster effective communication in the classroom and ultimately the workplace.
- Leadership development: Students learn to both lead and follow through sports and physical activity.
- Sportsmanship: While students play to win, learning how to win humbly and lose graciously is one of the most powerful lessons from athletic competition.
- Healthy Living: Students who participate in physical activities and sports often learn nutrition and exercise habits that last a lifetime.
Whether your child enjoys team sports, individual competition, or needs a little motivation to get outside and enjoy Creation, St. Paul Lutheran School is here to help. For more information about our school, and how we help students lead an active life, contact us.