Exercise makes your kids smarter. The more they exercise the better they do academically, the healthier their heart is (now and in the future), and the better their moods will be. But you may not have realized that their brain function is also increased with exercise. Why is exercise so good for us physically? Because exercise:
- Increases blood and oxygen to the brain.
- increases endorphins reducing stress.
- Increases growth factor that increases nerve cell growth.
Research shows that with just 30 on a treadmill children scored 10% better on problem solving. In 2010, ABC News reported on this Naperville Central High School study that found that reading scores doubled and math scores went up by a factor of 20; they even had bikes and balls in the classrooms! Exercise also clears our heads and helps us focus on the next task allowing us to learn a new task quicker.
My kids get a lot of exercise with sports and running around in the backyard, but during the week they also head outside for push ups and sit ups. I think it is good for them to not always exercise in an air conditioned environment; they love to exercise outside and it is good for them to sweat a bit and breath the fresh air. Just remind them to drink plenty of water before and after. Boys also like to chart their progress so you may suggest that they keep track of how many sets they do.
Before they have a book to read or a sit down task to tackle, send them outside for a bit of real exercise. Better yet, plan to join them and have some fun, they will love the competition and you will increase that all important attachment that kids crave!
(Soon I will post on the best indoor exercises including the new chin up bar we are testing now!)