In America with both children and adults, there has been a rise in obesity; this has made it a necessity to learn the impact that being physically fit has on the human body. One way to help increase learning is by paying attention in the classroom, however it has been proven that being physically fit is not only beneficial for the body, but also for the mind.
- Increased Blood Flow
When a child’s blood flow is increased, this means that the blood flow through the entire body is improved. Although proper blood flow is achieved by a healthy diet packed with vegetables, fruits, lean proteins and whole grains, the body is better able to maintain that flow with exercise. The chairman at the Baltimore Neurology Institute for Fitness and Brain Health, Dr. Majid Fotuhi states the not only does exercising help a child to increase their blood flow but it also promotes the process of generating neurons into the brain, this is called neurogenesis. Basically what this means is that exercise is an essential part of a child’s brain development.
- Impact on Memory
Other than improving the blood flow to the body and brain, exercise can also be beneficial to the memory process. Exercise such as cycling and walking has been associated with highly affecting children´s performance in school. At the University of Illinois in the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology Art Beckham explains that children who are fit in comparison with those who do not exercise, are better at thinking more effectively and multi-tasking, all of which are functions directly related to memory.
- Cognitive Control
The ability to pay attention is called cognitive control and it is also correlated with exercise. In Illinois, the Neurocognitive Kinesiology Laboratory´s director, Charles Hillman has completed research which has found that children who do engage in physical activity are able to actually improve their cognitive control. A viable solution for children who have conditions such as ADHD or who have a difficult time paying attention is in fact exercise. A Michigan State University researcher performed a study which showed that children dealing with ADHD are better able to focus on a task and drone out distractions after a brief exercise session.
- Sports and Education
Although concentration and academic achievement do go hand in hand, it has been proven that sports also help learning functions. Areas such as behaviour, memory and information processing are enhanced when a child participates in sports or other kinds of physical activities according to James Goldsmith who runs an 11 plus tutors in Ilford, UK. Research on the connection between enhanced learning and physical activity associated with better grades is on the rise, Chances are that increased levels of physical activity could even further enhance learning in children.