How Physical Activity Improves Brain and Cognitive Functions
We know that physical activity has great health benefits for our children. But did you know that children who are more physically active perform better academically and have better memory and attention? It’s true! They are more focused, stay on task, have better recall and can move information from their short term to long term memory (1).
However, being physically active means more than just “running around” and “playing outside.” Yes, running, jumping and swimming are important but so are motor skill activities that focus on perceptual motor development and fundamental movement skills. Both improve overall brain function, but they activate children’s brains differently (2). We need all of these brain skills to plan and make decisions from simple to most complex. It affects how we learn, remember, problem-solve, and pay attention (3).