Exercise makes children smarter

Exercise makes children smarter. Children’s cognitive skills improve significantly through daily exercise. It also improves problem-solving skills, mental well-being and impulse control. Children who exercise a lot in their youth are therefore cognitively smarter and invest (unconsciously) in their future. When children exercise a lot, connections that are important for learning performance are made more smoothly in the child’s brain.

Better cognitive skills through lots of exercise

Children’s school performance improves significantly if they exercise a lot. Exercise and cognitive effort rely on the same circuits in the brain. These are the same neural systems. It was thought that connections between brain areas were only intended for memory processes, but it turns out that these connections are also important for motor processes. Exercise keeps the brain in shape and improves cognition. Cognition is the mental activity that includes learning, thinking, knowing, perceiving, memory and problem-solving skills.

The child’s brain can be influenced

John Ratey, professor of psychology, writes in his book (Fit!) that the brain can be influenced by exercise, because exercise improves learning and memory and is beneficial for all kinds of psychological complaints. Unfortunately, activity among children has only decreased in recent years. An average child spends 6 hours a day in front of a television or computer. The future of children in terms of studies and jobs can be influenced when they are still young, completely against the well-known proverb: ‘if you were born for a dime, you will never become a quarter.’ Students’ attention and concentration improve when they make extra physical efforts during primary school. And so they also perform better at school than more passive classmates.

Exercise makes children smarter

Professor and psychology professor Scherder also says that exercise makes you smarter. Exercise ensures better blood flow to the brain. The blood flow to the white matter improves. The white matter means: the connections in the brain that process information and signals. For better learning performance, it is therefore important to maintain the blood flow of this substance. Because through exercise, children, and also young people, build up their cognitive reserve. The connections in the prefrontal cortex develop through movement until the age of 25. This means that a child needs a challenging environment. An environment in which sports are played and, preferably, music is played, creates more branches in the child’s brain. And through this cognitive reserve that is built up, the child unconsciously invests in the future and in life happiness. It is the enrichment, through an enriched environment, that can make the difference between, for example, HAVO and VWO. A busy schedule for children is not a problem, provided they enjoy and love what they do. The emphasis should therefore not be placed on performance, but on a fun leisure activity that the child enjoys.

Exercise is beneficial for a child’s brain

It is the prefrontal cortex that everything revolves around during the first 25 years of a person’s life. But certainly also after the age of 25, actually until the grave. Erik Scherder, professor of clinical neuropsychology and professor of kinesiology, says that the prefrontal cortex is responsible for controlling the highest cognitive functions that determine our independence. “This could include inhibition. Inhibitory ability is essential for motor skills. For example, you see that the motor skills of someone who has had a cerebral infarction become uninhibited. Inhibition is also essential for our behavior. Look at football hooligans. If there is someone with a seated starts throwing, the rest of the class starts to join in. And inhibition also has everything to do with memory processes. If someone is less able to brake, everything in the environment becomes equally important. You see this in elderly people with dementia, who become anxious as a result, but you I also see it in children with ADHD.” The prefrontal cortex is also important for impulse control, problem-solving skills and social behavior in young people and the elderly.
The percentage of overweight children in the Netherlands is increasing, but this should not be the only reason why physical activity is encouraged among children. Not only is good learning performance an important motive, but also by building up cognitive reserves in the first 25 years, Alzheimer’s is inhibited later in life.

A child who plays sports has better grades

The connections between the brain cells and the brain are therefore optimally established, because the increase in oxygen through exercise causes more blood to flow to the brain and improves the white matter. Exercise also reduces any stress level or irritability, and a child who feels good naturally also functions better. In addition, playing sports in groups is beneficial for children’s social skills (working together, listening to rules, listening to sports and game explanations). This benefits them in class in terms of manners, but also because they can simply concentrate better. A balance between sports and school is therefore important, also for teenagers. Simply doing homework is therefore not beneficial for learning performance. Those who exercise have a better report. This also applies to teenagers, because the development of making more important connections between the brains, which is responsible for cognitive reserves, continues until the age of 25. For example, adolescents aged 13 to 14 do better in spelling, reading and mathematics when they get an extra hour and a half of exercise per week.
Herman Van Driessche, director of the Flemish School Sports Foundation (SVS) also knows this. He says: We often hear that children are more concentrated in class when they have just been able to move. Anyone who sits still for hours at a time becomes lethargic and can no longer pay attention. An exercise snack offers a good solution: the children do some exercises between lessons and they are immediately recharged for the next hour. Parents must also realize that it is wrong to keep children behind the books all the time. I also let my children loose in the garden for five minutes after each study hour during their exams. Then learning was much better.’

© 2023 ApaFungsi.Com