How does exercise influence brain development in children?

Physical exercise is a very beneficial activity for anyone regardless of their age. In children it is especially positive since it promotes their physical and mental development.

How does exercise influence brain development in children?

Last update: April 20, 2022

Knowing how exercise influences the brain development of children is a fundamental question for those who want to discover the implication of physical activity in the health of the little ones. Exercise not only makes your muscles and bones stronger, it also increases the toughness of your brain.

It is true that sport is beneficial at any stage of life, but in each one of them there are differential characteristics that do not occur in another. For example, during childhood the benefits have more to do with cognitive development. In maturity, once development has reached its maximum, the benefits are more related to disease prevention.

On the other hand, knowing how exercise influences children’s brain development is a first step to encourage its practice in schools. Also, it is possible to promote healthy leisure activities that are different from a sedentary lifestyle.

For all these reasons, below we present the main findings for you to take into account.

Improves academic performance

Physical activity can improve children’s academic performance

For children, getting good grades is a priority in their lives. Although for an adult it seems a simple task, for children it is quite a challenge that implies a lot of cognitive wear.

Academic performance not only depends on the hours of study, but there are many factors involved that go beyond the merely academic. Mood or fatigue influence much more than it seemsso they must be given the same attention as homework and study hours.

Physical exercise is a very interesting aid to improve academic performance. According to an article from the Universidad Católica Silva Henríquez, andthere is a positive relationship between the practice of aerobic exercise and school performance. Specifically, the best results are obtained in the subjects of language and mathematics.

It is used as a treatment for ADHD

One of the uses of sport that is not fully known is its application as a therapy for certain developmental disorders. Among them, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, which mainly affects children, stands out.

Children with ADHD have trouble paying attention and regulating their behavior. They are children who are easily distracted, who find it difficult to follow instructions and have self-control problems. They are usually treated with drugs, but psychological alternatives have been shown to be more effective and have fewer side effects.

Among the treatment alternatives in recent years, physical exercise has been investigated. According to a study carried out by the University Center of San Isidoro, The practice of aerobic games for six weeks at a moderate intensity proved to be effective in improving the attentional capacity of children with ADHD. It is true that it cannot be used as the only intervention, but it is a very interesting complement and a powerful adjuvant that collaborates with this type of person.

Boosts their coordination and motor skills

For children, learning the movements and performing them like adults is a challenge. In childhood, motor skills are not fully developed, so there is no better way to improve them than by exercising.

Learning the technique of any sport implies learning to control the body. The precise movements that are required are not learned overnight, but little by little they shape the body and produce adaptations.

In the case of children, this is very beneficial since the exercise helps them improve coordination. The best exercises are aerobics because they positively influence coordination, elasticity and sense of rhythm. Examples of these are bike rides, martial arts, or nature hikes.

Sport plays a fundamental role in the development of children.

Physical exercise is the best activity for children

Childhood is a stage full of vitality and energy. Children are an inexhaustible source of vitality, so what better way to spend time with them than doing some physical activity.

Sedentary lifestyle in children is a growing problem that needs to be tackled. Physical exercise, especially aerobic exercise, has many benefits, especially on the most important organ of the body, the brain.

With regular exercise, the brain becomes stronger and more resistant, as does the muscles. In addition, performance in school will improve significantly. With all these reasons, if you have children in your care, make sure that they do some exercise every day.

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