There are so many reasons for kids to be active. They develop stronger muscles and bones, are less likely to become overweight, benefit from lower blood pressure and have a more positive outlook on life. But new studies are showing exercise can also have a positive impact on the brain.
It’s called exer-learning and it’s exactly what it sounds like – combining exercise with learning.
Studies show that regular physical activity supports child brain development by improving memory, concentration, and positive outlook. Researchers have even found that kids who ran for 15 – 45 minutes before school were less distracted and more attentive to schoolwork. That’s why John Ratey, author of A User's Guide to the Brain, calls exercise "Miracle-Gro for the brain.”
A program has been tested by schools overseas which required kids to exercise vigirously for 20 minutes before class. They found that students who exercised before their math class increased their problem-solving abilities by an average of 20% compared to a two per cent average improvement for other students!
Before your kids head to school in the morning, get their blood pumping and their brains ready to learn. It could be as simple as 5-10 minutes of jumping jacks, a couple of laps around your backyard, 5 – 10 minutes dancing around the house to music or 5 – 10 minutes jumping on a trampoline.
When you’re helping your kids with homework, get them moving when they become frustrated. A short break of physical activity will help them release tensions and get their brain ready to learn and focus.
Incorporate physical activity into learning. Help them learn how to count by jumping or have kids run to the correct answer to a math problem. Get them learning and moving at the same time!
Math Hopper on the tgoma app (Springfree's Smart Trampoline technology) is the perfect way to exercise the body and brain. Kids solve math questions on the screen by jumping three times on the mushroom or image with the correct answer. It’s perfect for kids of all ages and covers math skills of all ranges. And it's all about postive reinforcement – instead of being discouraged by being told they've got a problem wrong, kids get to keep trying until they get it right – and are then congratulated!
How do you use exercise and physical activity to help kids learn? Share your tips with us in the comments!