And Extra-curricular Activities

Written by James Zois

Active kids are smarter kids

We know that physical activity is an important ingredient in staying fit and healthy. But did you know that learning piano, martial arts, tennis, guitar or other activities can make you smarter?

That’s right, research suggests that by learning new skills you can improve your brains neural functioning. The technical benefits include: greater brain nerve growth, increased blood vessel growth, increased blood flow, improved concentration, better attention on set tasks and a whole list of other benefits associated to learning a new activity.

So why are activities important for kids? (Benefits Of Kids)

Well, if you live a similar life to the majority of the population then you know that the learning curve really dies off later on in life. We get so busy with the “daily grind” our jobs, careers, kids, Facebook, Instagram the Block…???? and we obviously get distracted so easily with all the modern gadgets available to us that require very little brain power. Or perhaps were just down right tired by the time 5pm comes around, and can’t prioritise anything else in our busy lives.  

But consider what life might look like in in the future when hopefully you do have more time on your hands. Researchers have shown that learning new skills, activities, language, music, sports, can have a profound immediate benefit to your mental health, as well as later on in life. Using your brain more often now, prevents the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia. In fact, a recent study showed that bilingual people (person that speaks a second language) delay the onset of some forms of dementia by up to 5 years!

Why exercise alone is not enough? (Benefits Of Kids)

Whilst no one can doubt that keeping the body fit is a fundamental part of healthy living, taking part in new skilled activities is potentially even more important. Apart from improving your current and future mental health, learning new skilled tasks can be a great platform for social interaction…remember that thing you used to do before iPhone and twitter ????. Activities like music, yoga and dance can have a meditative effect, stimulate new neural pathways, improve self-efficacy, regulate your emotions, reduce anxiety, improve concentration and improve problem-solving skills.

Interestingly, racquet sports like tennis, table tennis, badminton have been labelled as “aerobics for the brain.” Not only do these activities provide you with the coincidental fitness benefits, but they also highly stimulate and challenge your brain! Racquet sports have high degrees of both cognitive and physical demands.

Key to happier lives and happier children (Benefits Of Kids)

Today, we have access to more fitness opportunities than ever before. With highly qualified trainers, 24 h gyms, indoor and outdoor options, the list goes on. But our obesity and health issues continue to rise……perhaps the answer is simpler that we think?

Learning new skilled tasks which train the brain whilst improving your fitness capacity could be the key to happier, healthier and more active lives. There are plenty examples of activities that can support this blend of mind and body exercising mentioned above. By choosing activities that include some brain stimulation, some fitness, and some social benefits, we can give ourselves the best chance of a better life now, and into the future.

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