How Exercise Impacts Learning


We were all children once. Some of us were eager fans of everything PE, sports, and various outdoor activities. Others were more inclined to enjoy reading, doing homework, practicing art, or singing. However, in reality, the differences between these two groups aren’t so stark. We all need a way to burn our energy and escape the sense of boredom.

While it’s true that some children are more active than others, healthy physical exercise and mental stimulation are universal needs. Workouts shouldn’t be reserved as a healthy habit of future athletes only, but also prospective scientists, artists, engineers, and entrepreneurs. Let’s explore in more detail why physical activity is vital for your kid’s academic success.

Kids room with two beds and book shelf
Used with permission of Breeze Giannasio

How can school children benefit from everyday exercise?

The answer to this question can be summed up in three points:

  • They will be healthier
  • They will be less bored
  • They will be more relaxed and emotionally stable.

In other words, they will have better fitness, stronger bones and muscles, less body fat. In addition, they are less likely to develop depression and have better prospects for a healthy lifestyle in adulthood.

How about exercise and learning ability?

Various scientific studies have shown that moderate to vigorous everyday exercise has a positive impact. This is true for the performance of children and adolescents of any age. Studies have shown that there are numerous benefits that come with it. Regular exercise, that involves at least an hour of moderate to vigorous activity, will bring the following advantages to school children:

1. Improved attention span

When we exercise, our mind becomes more alert. This is especially true for children who have a tendency to be distracted or not to pay enough attention. Frequent workout can improve this and reorder the brain so that the attention span expands.

Children's room with toddlers, couch and toys
Used with permission of Kerry Spears, and photographers Nathan Schroeder and Kelli Boyd Photography

2. Increased motivation

When kids start the school day with a workout, they are also more eager to learn. With improved attention, they will be ready to soak in the information. This will in turn increase their willingness to learn. Therefore, initial success will make them more curious and open to broadening their views. 

3. New neural connections & new skills

Brain cells need to be nicely connected in order for us to learn new skills and retain information. Healthy blood flow and release of endorphins in the process encourage the brain to build new connections.

This is especially important for young children. In this period of life, they develop an array of interests. For example, they might be interested in learning a second language, to play an instrument, or to master a complex dance routine. For them to be truly proficient, it’s best to combine this with some vigorous physical activity. Healthy exercise will spur and help the development of new skills on a deeper level.

What type of physical activity improves learning?

Experts recommend light aerobic activities throughout the week, for at least one hour a day. The routine should also include running, jumping and other activities that strengthen their bones.

For example, you can consider some of the following sports activities:

  • Basketball
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Dancing
  • Jogging
Kid's room with cradle, table and armchair
Used with permission of Breeze Giannasio

Besides, you should encourage the following outdoor activities:

  • Skateboarding
  • Rollerblading
  • Shooting hoops
  • In line-skating
  • Bicycle riding
  • Swimming
  • Walking pets in the park
  • Running errands on foot, rollerblades, skateboard, or on a bike
  • Raking leaves or mowing the backyard lawn

Of course, this doesn’t have to be exercise at the gym, basketball court, or at a fitness center. Kids can have fun at a variety of outdoor parks. Even better, you can take your children to a well-equipped indoor playground such as Uptown Jungle in North Phoenix.

Bottom line

Physical fitness impacts the learning ability regardless of age. This is vital for children, as it gives them a chance to combine physical prowess and mental agility. With an agile outlook in life, they can reap many benefits in the future, including improved quality of life and greater resilience to stress.

Thanks to for consulting.


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