Sport and regular exercise has many benefits for your son’s physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. It can lower blood pressure, build body confidence, prevent depression and help improve memory.
A lack of physical activity can increase feelings of unhappiness, contribute to cardiovascular diseases, restlessness, reduced motivation and an inability to concentrate and learn. Stress and adversity weaken the brain’s ability to learn and retain information, as the flow of messages between brain cells is dampened.
Here’s how exercise can improve your son's memory and brain activity.
1. It increases the area of the brain linked to learning
Exercise changes the brain in ways that protect memory and thinking skills. This, however, is specific to aerobic movement that gets the heart and sweat glands pumping. Research has found that this movement increases the size of the hippocampus – an area of the brain involved with verbal memory and learning.
2. It increases blood flow to the brain
It helps memory and thinking by stimulating the release of growth factors. These are chemicals in the brain that affect the health of brain cells – the growth of new blood vessels in the brain and the volume and survival of new brain cells. The increased blood flow to the brain resulting from a rise in heart rate boosts memory and overall brain function.
3. It reduces stress which contributes to cognitive repair
Indirectly, sport and exercise improves wellbeing by enhancing mood, reducing stress and anxiety, and helping secure a good night’s sleep – all factors contributing to cognitive repairment which are often disrupted in day-to-day life.
Harvard Health Publishing recommends 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise most days of the week, or 150 minutes of exercise a week. This can be overwhelming for your son to launch into initially, but being part of a sport team at school can remove or reduce the feeling that exercising is a chore. Boys are commited to their team, focused on the game and push themselves, often without realising. They are getting an optimum work out and break a sweat while having fun.
Sport is a fantastic way to regularly incorporate meaningful exercise into your son’s weekly habits to help improve cognitive development – it also teaches boys many valuable life lessons. Football, basketball, rowing and rugby, as well as many other sports on offer at The Scots College, all involve cardiovascular activity in a team environment to encourage maximum aerobic movement – ideal conditions to improve memory.
Encourage your son to commit to a regular exercise routine as a daily or weekly habit to help him improve his memory and increase cognitive development, while also improving his physical and mental wellbeing.
The Scots College offer a range of regular sporting activites to encourage healthy habits. Find out how your son can benefit from a Scots education by downloading a copy of our prospectus.