Exercise and the Brain: Examining Why It Is Important To Take An Active Role In Learning How Exercise and Eating Healthy Can Affect The Brain.

Brandy Daniels, Kindergarten, Irwin Academic Center

Final Unit(pdf)   Implementing Teaching Standards(pdf)


It is important that children know the benefits of exercise and how it helps improve their brain. Today’s children do not spend as much time exercising as in the past. Schools are cutting back on the amount of physical education and recess time that children receive.  Even with recess, children do not spend time doing activities that get their heart rate up. Do children know how important exercising is for their brain? Do they know the benefits of exercising can improve their memory, improve learning, creativity, and thinking skills? How important is exercise for maintaining a healthy brain?  In an article titled, “Regular exercise changes the brain to improve memory, thinking skills”, Heidi Godman summarized the benefits as follows: “Exercise helps memory and thinking through both direct and indirect means. The benefits of exercise come directly from its ability to reduce insulin resistance, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the release of growth factors-chemicals in the brain that affect the health of brain cells, the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, and even the abundance and survival of new brain cells.”[i]

[i] Heidi Godman. “Regular exercise changes the brain to improve memory, thinking skills, “Harvard Health Letter, May 2014