Exercise and Learning: What’s the Link?

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Exercise and Learning: What’s the Link?

Exercise and learning in the classroom: have you ever wondered how these two interact? Exercise and fitness play an important role in every child’s learning and development, with many studies determining that exercise can greatly improve a child’s performance in school.

Sitting around for long periods of time can make children restless, frustrated and distracted but taking regular activity breaks during the day can help sharpen students’ abilities to focus and stay on task. Children’s executive control can also be improved: they can become more skilled at ignoring distractions, multitasking, and holding information in their minds.

Making sure your students are regularly active helps lay the foundations for effective learning by offering them the energy and focus they need to excel in academia. Research indicates that even just 15 minutes of exercise after lunch can instantly improve cognitive performance. 

Clinical psychologist and memory researcher, Thomas Crook, promotes the link between exercise and learning – stating that “cardiovascular health is more important than any other single factor in preserving and improving learning and memory.” At present, only one in three children are physically active every day. Research from HHS shows that some kids now spend more than seven and a half hours a day in front of a screen whether it’s a TV, on videogames or a computer.

As well as getting the blood pumping to feed oxygen to the brain, exercise also inspires the release of several key hormones including serotonin, a brilliant mood booster; dopamine, which affects learning and attention; and norepinephrine, which stimulates attention, perception and motivation. Exercise helps us focus, feel better, and release tension: for students with ADHD or other mental health illnesses, it can be especially beneficial.

Getting kids excited about exercise should be your number one goal. Introducing them to new sports will spike their interests and get them enthusiastic about regular fitness through sports sessions and games. With so many sports on offer, each child will be able to find something that sparks joy.

Before or after-school sports sessions are not only a great way to get pupils active but also engaging with their peers. It was found that children who participate in exercise groups outside of school hours have improved cognitive function.

Through our athlete visits, children can get motivated as they interact with professional sports people and this can spur a lifelong passion for sports. Instilling a love for sports at a young age can turn the children of today into the champions of tomorrow.

Contact us now to start your schools Sports for Champions journey!