Playing sports improves our lung capacity and cardiac function, which in turn increases the amount of oxygen that reaches the brain, enhances circulation and strengthens the heart. In short, exercise improves our general physical condition and psychological well-being.

This statement alone is enough to demonstrate the importance and benefits of sports for human beings. Nonetheless the centres of the Best Schools in Spain network also believe that sports have great educational value in the sense that they help children and youngsters learn the importance of discipline and effort to achieve their goals. In addition, these activities help improve concentration, an essential factor to optimise the time spent studying.

The variety of analyses carried out on exercise and school performance are irrefutable. Firstly, from a physiological perspective, they point out that playing sports improves cerebral processes as it stimulates cellular and molecular components in the brain. Regular exercise contributes towards students’ physical and mental development. Sports also stimulate muscle and bone growth, while also encouraging a love for movement and physical activity. It has been proven that regular exercise prevents some illnesses such as obesity, osteoporosis or cardiac disorders. What more could you ask for? Well, playing sports also makes us feel relaxed and happy. It stimulates the production of endorphins and dopamine (pleasure hormones) that make us feel good.

Physical education and extracurricular sports activities: essential

In education, we often tend to think that physical education is not a very important subject. Nothing could be further from the truth. The mere fact that children and youngsters are exercising leads to benefits. Physical exercise stimulates bone and muscle growth, can correct possible physical problems, boosts self-esteem, increases intellectual capacity, improves productivity, provides energy and leads to personal growth and development as participants acquire the values of team spirit, flexibility and conflict resolution.

When they exercise, students feel better about themselves and less stressed. What’s more, they find a way to open up to others and overcome their shyness or other complexes. They learn the importance of relying on others, become more social and get the chance to make new friends who share their passion for sport.

Likewise, sports improve and reinforce a series of psychological variables such as self-esteem, activation and motivation, which are key aspects that come into play in daily life, the foundations of personal development. Through physical education, children and youngsters express their spontaneity and encourage their creativity, and it also allows them to discover, respect, and value both themselves and others.

Overall education

Sports and physical exercise contribute towards students’ overall education. By playing sports, children awaken their motor skills and intelligence, and it is a fundamental element for their overall development. It encourages students to create and establish habits, develops their love for movement and exercise and stimulates hygiene and a healthy lifestyle.

Playing sports on a regular basis is an important value and need in any social or demographic group. Students that play sports are more likely to develop and strengthen a series of strategies and new skills. They learn to follow rules, have certain responsibilities and work in a team and take their teammates into consideration. They learn the importance of respecting authority and the value of respecting their competitors.

At the Best Schools in Spain, we believe it is very important that children play sports both in physical education classes and the variety of extracurricular activities on offer.