Do you want to increase the chance of your kid becoming the next famous author or great writer? Then let him or her do a few regular laps in the swimming pool.
According to a recent study by researchers at the University of Delaware, swimming can actually increase a child’s vocabulary. The study was published in the Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research.
The study involved children ages 6 to 12. They were taught new words before the did three things: 1) swimming, 2) took part in CrossFit exercises, and 3) completed a coloring sheet.
Swimming Helped Kids Retain Vocabulary
The results showed that children who did the swimming were 13 percent more accurate in follow up tests of the vocabulary words.
The researchers believe that motor movements help encode new words in the brain. Exercise is known to release more brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which is called the “Miracle-Gro of the brain.”
Then why didn’t the CrossFit exercises make a difference? The researchers think that swimming is a more natural activity for kids, and they can do it without much thought or action. However, CrossFit exercises are unfamiliar for most kids, and it requires mental energy to learn the new exercises.
Other Exercises Effective Also?
The implication here is not only swimming, but possibly any exercise that kids can do naturally without much thought may have the same effect.
The results of this study show that teaching children should not be limited inside a classroom. You can take them out to the playground, a walk around the school, or even a swim.
TAKE-HOME MESSAGE: Children who were taught new words were able to remember them 13 percent more accurately after swimming as an exercise. It’s possible other routine exercises can have a similar effect.
Journal source: Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research
Examining the Role of Physical Activity on Word Learning in School-Aged Children