Denise Kenney, a Counsellor at Jumeirah Baccalaureate School, a Taaleem school in Dubai, weighs in on the benefits of physical exercise for children.
11 February 2018| Last updated on 14 March 2018
Everybody knows that exercise has many benefits, but exactly how does it help our children to concentrate at school? We checked in with Denise Kenney, Counsellor at Jumeira Baccalaureate School , a Taaleem school in Dubai, to understand more about how frequent exercise can lead to academic success.
1. Exercise helps the brain to work more efficiently
Did you know that it has been scientifically proven that exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to your child’s whole body, including the brain, helping it to work more efficiently? Researchers at the University of British Columbia have found that increasing regular aerobic exercise (running, jumping, and swimming) boosts the size of the hippocampus, the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning – two key areas that are key for success at school!
2. Regular exercise will help your child to sleep better
Everybody knows that the more active you are, the easier it is to get a good night’s sleep. Researchers believe that sleep affects learning and memory in two ways – firstly, a lack of sleep will impair your child’s ability to focus and learn efficiently because they’ll be too tired.
Secondly, sleep is really important to be able to consolidate a memory (making it stick), so it can be recalled in the future – key for success in assessments and exams.
3. Exercise is good for your child’s mind, body and soul
Here at Jumeira Baccalaureate School , a Taaleem school, in Dubai we firmly believe that fitness is more than just about physical well-being, it’s about mental well-being too.
The International Baccalaureate program encourages students to understand the importance of balancing different aspects of our lives – intellectual, physical and emotional – to achieve well-being for ourselves and others.
As a school counsellor, I spend a lot of time talking to our students about how both elements work in conjunction with each other. Physical exercise can be a great mindfulness technique – for our older students, going for a thirty minute run, for instance, can really help them to focus on their own feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations – to switch off from academic pressures and to take some time to focus on their own mental health and well-being, which is key to academic success.
4. Exercise will make your child happier
Got a child who’s a bit of a grizzle guts in the morning? It’s a well-known fact that exercise releases magic endorphins that make you feel happier and more relaxed. Get them doing star-jumps before the school run and set them up for a happy day at school!
5. Exercise offers a great opportunity to socialise
Happy children are successful children and exercise can be a key component in happiness. The team sports we offer at Jumeira Baccalaurate School in Dubai during PE lessons and during after school extra-curricular activities sports offer a great opportunity for students to socialise and make friends, and everybody knows that good friends are a key component to happiness.