• Playground Design and Build Specialists

31/07/15 Blog

Cognitive benefits of children's exercise.

Exercise for children is something all parents/guardians and teachers encourage. It's an important factor for any child's daily routine. Without exercise, we're basically asking ourselves to be lazy and unhealthy later in life.

However, exercise for children will do a lot more than offer physical benefits, research suggests it has massive cognitive benefits too.

Cognitive development builds information processing, intelligence, reasoning, language development, and even memory. It is the mechanics behind the way we process our thoughts, remember things, solve problems and make decisions. For children, this is an extremely beneficial part of growing up.

 How do we know this? Well, we have the Salk Institute and their mouse experiment to thank.

A test was carried out with mice, some sedentary and some who ran 3miles a day in their wheels. Over time, when compared, the aerobically-challenged mice has significant brain growth, resulting in the hippocampus brain region to be twice as big as the sedentary mice. This part of the brain is in fact the region associated with memory and learning.

This works because when children feel better, they learn better. Exercise will:

  • • Boost the growth of brain cells.
  • • Stimulate neurogenesis.
  • • Mobilise the expression of genes that are believed to enhance brain plasticity—i.e., the ability of the brain to change its neural pathways and prevents brain tissue loss in older adults.

It's important to note that most cognitive research derives from rodent research, however, studies on children have resulted in the same outcome. Meaning they are more focused.

Whether we can look at this research to be accurate or not is a different story, but there's no deny that exercise for children is a must!

We can't determine if exercise will make every child a better learner in school, but we can take satisfaction in knowing that some good will come from it. Newby Leisure would always take pride in making sure we promote healthy child growth wherever possible, but one thing that is taken away from fitness sometimes is the core play value. This is something that should be promoted to keep children interested in exercise and do it off their own back, rather than it be a chore.

This summer, we will be promoting ways for children to stay entertained and active. If you search our social media pages, you will find useful things for children to make and do whilst on half term. We will also share with you ideas to get the family moving whilst the suns out (if we're lucky enough), so please keep updated on Twitter and Facebook.

"Together, we're better!"




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