Strong Bodies and Minds: How Exercise Benefits Kids Brains

As students start heading back to school, there's no better time to encourage the children in your life to stay physically active — and who knows, they may see it pay off in the classroom.

Studies have looked into the impact nutrition and physical activity have on a child’s brain, and the connection is clear: Simply put, healthy students are better students.

To stay or become healthy, students are encouraged to eat nutrient-rich foods, like low-fat and fat-free dairy, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein foods, and be physically active for 60 minutes throughout the day.

Here’s the cool part: Being active can jump-start the brain. In fact, it only takes about 20 minutes of physical activity for brain activity to improve.

And when brain activity improves, students may find it easier to pay attention to what’s going on in class and better process the lessons they’re learning.

The benefits don’t end there. Physically active students also have improved attendance and higher test scores.

Plus, the research shows that it doesn’t matter where or when students are active, so long as they get up and move. No matter if they’re physically active during recess, in the classroom during activities, in a physical education class or even over the weekend, they may see it pay off.

To learn more about finding creative ways to add exercise into a child’s school day, visit