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Why Exercise is Vital for Child Development

At Smart Kids Development Center, our primary goal is the safe and comfortable development of your children – mentally, emotionally and physically. Our child care programs emphasize positive approaches and parental involvement that helps continue the learning process even when kids aren’t in our facilities.

One of the most vital elements of our program involves regular exercise and activity for kids, whether through free recess periods or more organized activities. Exercise in kids has a number of huge benefits, and scientific studies suggest it can have a big effect on youth development. Here’s a look at why exercise is so important for child development.

The Science

Through research that originally began on mice and rodents but has been expanded safely to humans, we know without a doubt that exercise is highly beneficial to the brain. Aerobic exercise has been proven to boost levels of substances vital for brain cell growth, and it’s also known to stimulate neurogenesis – the creation of new brain neurons.

People who have recently exercised perform better on spatial learning tasks. In older people, exercise has been known to decrease brain tissue loss and memory issues. Exercise also mobilizes the expression of genes that enhance the brain’s ability to change its neural pathway.


The primary effect here is on human mood, an especially vital consideration for children within the learning and development sphere. General happiness and mood stability are big factors in the brain’s ability to learn and retain information. Since children’s brains need more of this than anyone else, exercise is especially important for them.


Mood isn’t the only specific benefit of good exercise in kids, however. Cognitive studies have made direct connections between exercise and attention span, including kids with ADHD. Aerobic exercise has been linked with improved math skills. Even further studies have suggested that these conceptual benefits do indeed transfer to the classroom – a 20-minute walking session in one 2009 experiment boosted performance on tests in reading, spelling and arithmetic. More physical activity breaks during the day have also been linked directly with higher test scores.

Want more information on how our daycare center and after school care program will emphasize exercise as part of the development process? Speak to the friendly staff at Smart Kids Development Center today.