The Science Behind Sports & Exercise

Getting daily exercise is important for everybody, kids included. Doctors recommend that kids spend at least one hour per day in active play or participating in an active sport. Your body will respond positively when you exercise, as your bones, muscles, and joints will get stronger. To make sure that you have enough energy for sports and daily exercise, you need to eat a nutritious diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and dairy products.

Science and Sports

  • Sports Physiology: Facts: If you want to be good at a particular sport, you might study the science of it to understand it better. For example, understanding what happens when you throw a ball may make you a better baseball, softball, or football player.
  • Interesting Facts About Sports and Exercise: A number of things happen inside the body when people exercise. Some of this includes blood pumping, oxygen being delivered, stored energy being used, and maintaining correct body temperature to prevent overheating.
  • How to Make a Faster Ski: The design of downhill skis has a direct impact on how fast a skier can ski. Scientists have found that the shape, size, and materials affect ski speed.
  • Sports Science and Medicine Fact Sheet (PDF): An athlete who wants to excel at figure-skating will train with both aerobic and strength-training exercises. Having a strong core helps with many different aspects of figure-skating.
  • Science of Hockey: Goalie Reaction Time: A hockey goalie’s reaction time needs to be lightning-fast to stop scoring. Reaction time will get faster with training, but an athlete’s genetics also have an effect on reaction time.
  • Health Benefits of Tennis: Why Play Tennis? Playing tennis takes clear thinking and fast reactions. Tennis players get both aerobic and anaerobic exercise.

Exercise Science

  • Dear Sports Scientists: Will Drinking Fluids Keep Me Cool? Drinking fluids during exercise prevents dehydration, which helps athletes continue to perform. Some people think that drinking fluids helps regulate body temperature, but this has only a small impact on core temperature.
  • A Few Facts About Calories, Body Fat, and Muscle: To build muscle, people need to eat enough protein. They also need to engage in resistance training to make muscles grow.
  • Physical Activity: Getting regular exercise helps people avoid diseases, decreases body fat, and often makes people feel happier.
  • Adolescents and Young Adults: Regular exercise makes muscles, joints, and bones stronger. Exercise also helps people avoid gaining weight.
  • Middle Childhood (PDF): Because kids are growing, it’s very important to eat healthy food and get regular exercise to build strong bones and muscles.
  • Why Yoga and Kids Go Together: Practicing yoga involves exercises that help make you stronger and more flexible.

Fitness and Nutrition


  • Pumping it Up (PDF): These experiments will help you understand how exercise benefits your heart.
  • Exercise and Your Heart (PDF): Learn how physical activity affects how fast or slow your heart beats.
  • Exercise: Check Your Pulse: Take your pulse, then do some jumping jacks, then check your pulse again. You will notice that your heart is beating faster after exercising.

Games and Activities

  • Blast Off: You have to choose the best foods to fuel yourself for activity in the Blast Off game.
  • The Pulse: Play this game to learn where your pulse is and how it works.