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A new study by sports scientists has found that sports can help improve your child’s learning and memory. The researchers assessed the Daily Mile program, a sports program that has been running in numerous schools across Europe.
The children and teachers in participating schools walk, run or jog a mile every day outdoors.
The study’s participants were children aged between nine and 11 and enrolled in schools in the UK. The researchers measured cognitive skills such as working memory, attention and logic and reasoning immediately after the kids had exercised, and then 45 minutes later.
The results showed that while there was no marked overall improvement in children’s cognitive skills, they tended to perform better immediately after exercise.
The study also found that the fittest students, meaning those who ran furthest on a fitness test, performed better on cognitive tasks.
Many studies suggest that regular exercise is good for your child. It not only helps keep them in shape, it also improves concentration and reduces stress and anxiety. Exercise can also stimulate brain growth.
In one study, researchers were interested in determining whether fitness improved memory and learning. 48 children (nine- and 10-year-olds) were assessed to determine their capacity to retain and recall information.
The study found that while the performance of the most fit and the least fit participants was relatively similar when learning novel material, the fittest children were more likely to remember information the following day.
We all know that exercice is good for children, but it is not always easy to get opportunities for your child to get some exercise. Also, getting any activities done with the Covid pandemic has become a real nightmare for many parents.
That said, it is possible to make your child do sports on a regular basis, irrespective of whether they can enjoy the outdoors or are stuck indoors for any number of reasons.
Here are 13 easy strategies to get started.
13 easy tips to make your child work out indoors or outdoors
1) Take your child on an outdoor scavenger hunt. Scavenger hunts are great because not only do they help your child get some exercise, they also help them connect with nature. Indoor scavenger hunts will also ensure that your child keeps active.
2) Make hiking your new family tradition. Remember that there are apps that can help you choose trails that will work for every family member.
3) Propose regular opportunities for your child to keep active. Exercise is not just about walking, running or swimming. Even activities such as raking leaves, riding their bikes, playing hide and seek, skateboarding, skipping, playing with their hula hoops, and so on are all activities that can help them keep active.
4) Invest in games that your child can play indoors. Games such as ping pong, indoor basketball, a punching bag, stepping stones, etc. are all great options that will help your child stay active.
5) Trampolines are a great way to ensure that your child is getting their exercise, and you have both outdoor and indoor trampolines that you can choose from depending on your situation.
6) Use challenges to get your child motivated. For example, next time you are going to visit family or friends, or to the bakers or library, get them to run instead of walk.
7) Put on music and dance! Or use YouTube to get them to learn a new choreography.
8) Use whatever you have. Exercise does not necessarily have to take place outdoors. If you have stairs, make your child walk up and down the stairs and time them!
9) Make your child participate in planning activities to do. For example, letting them plan an obstacle race will make them more motivated to participate in the race.
10) Enrolling your child in sports activities is an easy way to get them to work out on a regular basis.
11) Give your child what they need to motivate them. Many people enjoy listening to music as they are walking or running so let your child create and use their playlist if that works for them.
12) Get your child a pedometer so that they can keep track of their daily walking or running.
13) Monkey bars are a game that your child will enjoy both indoors and outdoors without even knowing that they are working out. Also, if you get a good quality one, they can use their bars for years!
If you are just starting out with exercises for your child, there’s no need to rush. Start slow. What really matters is adopting a regular routine with easy and manageable activities your child will enjoy. Even 15-minute exercises every day will do wonders for them.