We know how important it is for our kid to have a healthy brain. We try to feed them the right food, nurture them emotionally, encourage their studies.
But there’s new research that shows us one of the most important things we can do as parents to ensure our kids have healthy brains.
My seven-year-old is a rough and ragged little boy who wants to spend all of his time doing physical activities. Unless the weather or I stop him, he will be outside throwing a ball, running around, riding a bike, shooting hoops, you name it. The amount of exercise he gets is probably beyond whatever most would deem reasonable.
My daughter however, happens to be a bit more relaxed. She enjoys jumping on the trampoline, an occasional bike ride and playing on her soccer team. But she averages less than half the psychical activities of my son.
If you take into account this study from the University of Granada, you may come to a conclusion that perhaps my son has more grey matter in his brain and that boosts learning and functioning.
Yes, they have proven that physical fitness in children affects their brain structure.
More specifically, that it is growing in several cortical and subcortical brain regions. The regions that are important for the executive function as well as for learning, motor and visual processes which leads to better academic performance.
“..Physical fitness in children is linked in a direct way to important brain structure differences, and such differences are reflected in the children’s academic performance.”
Isn’t that astounding? This is incredible news. Why?
Because our kids can grow their brain just by playing!
We don’t need to go to extremes, put them in 10 different sports, monitor their exercise with a chart or regimen. We just need to encourage physical play.
Here are some fun ideas if your kids need a boost:
- Trampoline (if you’ve got one. my kids spend so much time on this!)
- Jump rope
- Have races between siblings or cousins
- Bike rides
- Skates (these are really easy to use)
- Family game of football catch
- Run laps around the yard with your dog
- Practice cartwheels
- Bungee Boing (so much fun for jumping!)
No matter how you exercise, just make sure you’re getting out there. Run, play and get moving… your kids brains will be better because of it.
Liz is a just a mom trying to keep it real about how little she sleeps, how often she gets puked on and how much she loves them. You can find her here every day writing about real-mom moments.