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Physical Exercise in children


Physical Exercise should be an integral part of normal growth and development in children, particularly in infancy and early childhood, physical exercise has an important role in physical, psychosocial and mental development.

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The commonly cited (general) health benefits of Physical Exercise for youth include:

Prevention of overweight and obesity

Improvements in skeletal health

Enhancement of heart and lung function

Better psychological health

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However, Physical Exercise could also induce brain benefits, such as:

Induces structural and functional changes in the brain, determining enormous biological and psychological benefits

Accelerates the maturation of dendritic spines in newborn neurons (Costigan et al., 2016)

Better performance in verbal, perceptual and mathematical tests (Singh et al, 2018; Egger et al., 2019)

High levels of self-efficacy, targeting task objectives and perceived competence (Biddle et al., 2011)

Better performance in executive functions (Vazou et al., 2016)

Better level of development/academic readiness (Hillman et al., 2008)

Best intelligence and memory quotient (Hillman et al., 2008)

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In fact, regular Physical Exercise is known to alter the Central Nervous System metabolism, increases neurogenesis and angiogenesis in areas of the brain that support memory and learning, improving cognitive performance.

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