The beginning of a new year usually calls for resolutions that focus on weight management via exercise, and for a good reason. With the increased use of smartphone devices and video game consoles, sedentary lifestyles are becoming more prevalent among children. But exercise offers more benefits than managing weight. It provides a whole host of cognitive benefits that children with childhood learning and developmental issues, such as autism, depression and ADHD, can leverage. Thus, it's key to get your children moving to enhance brain health and development. Here are some advantages of exercise to consider:
Exercise Improves Mood
When children get moving, they improve their moods by feeling happier. That's because when you exercise, natural stress-fighting brain chemicals are released. Improving moods is instrumental in improving symptoms of depression. For example, exercise can help reduce adverse aspects of depression, such as rumination and negativity.
Exercise Helps to Enhance Processing
Being able to think faster can help children with learning issues stay on pace with classwork for academic success. Studies show that exercise can help with processing information at a faster pace than not engaging in any physical exercise. This was evident in a 2014 Pediatrics study where faster processing speed was prevalent among children who exercised.
Exercise Can Help Improve Attention Span
Being able to focus requires paying attention to the subject being discussed. This is often a difficult task to achieve for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, and other mental health conditions. It's important to be able to concentrate when However, studies show that exercise helps to enhance attention spans. For instance, one 2016 Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders study shows that jogging helped to improve the attention span for children with ASD and ADHD. These findings demonstrate that exercise as simple as jogging can have positive effects for helping to improve brain health in children with mental health conditions.
As the new year begins, it's important to keep your children moving. With the many cognitive benefits exercise brings, children can leverage it to feel better and concentrate. By getting your children moving, you can also get their minds moving and increase their potential for improving development.