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  • Writer's pictureBankstown Physiotherapy

How Exercise Improves Academic Performance

If you remain active, you maintain a healthy lifestyle. That’s a given. But what a lot of people don’t know is how beneficial physical activity is aside from ensuring a healthy lifestyle. Did you know that your brain can benefit from it too? Today will be looking at how exercising regularly can have a positive impact on your cognitive performance.

In many recent studies, it has been shown that physical activity can have a number of positive cognitive side effects, especially in children. Some of these include;

  • An increase in brainpower

  • An increase in motivation and concentration

  • Stronger memory and reasoning skills

  • Better controlled behaviours, especially in classroom settings

  • A stronger comprehension of language skills

Now you ask yourself, how and why is this occurring? Two words, brain synapses.

Brain Synapses

Synapses are part of the circuit that connects sensory organs, like those that detect pain or touch, in the peripheral nervous system to the brain. Synapses connect neurons in the brain to neurons in the rest of the body and from those neurons to the muscles.

The evidence that was shown from these studies concluded with children being more likely to grow and develop faster and strong brain synapses. The children’s academic skills and social skills improved dramatically as well as their self-esteem. This is mostly due to the enhanced focus that physical activity promotes in people. Hence, such improvements are most noticeable directly after physical activity.

But how does physical activity assist the brain?

Well, during physical activity there is an increased flow of oxygen to the brain that in result increases our ability to concentrate, handle stress, remember and learn. As well, increased physical activity is able to improve white matter integrity, which allows communication throughout the brain, to in turn significantly improve focus and processing skills.

Additionally, physical activity produces a number of 'feel-good' chemicals to the brain that in turn promote positive emotions and behaviours among those of all ages.

How much physical activity is required to see the benefits?

It is recommended that children engage in 60 minutes of daily moderate and vigorous exercise. Though to achieve the best results children need to engage in a mixture of exercise, sedentary behaviour and rest each day.

For children a 24 hour period should include;

  • 60 or more minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise

  • Several hours of light exercise such as walking and playing

  • Approximately 8 hours of sleep a day and suitable resting periods for recovery.

Here a Bankstown physiotherapy, we are committed to ensuring the health and well being or persons of all ages. In such, we know the importance that physical health can have on overall health and development.

If you are concerned about you or your child's current physical activity feel free to contact us at 97933119 or

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