by Guest Blogger Donna Wilson
Happy New Year! With a new year may come a resolution to get into
shape. Last week, we posted about the importance of eating well. In
tandem with that comes the need for regular exercise.
Exercise not only can lead to a healthier life but also can lead to a more academically accomplished life as well. In our book, Thinking for Results: Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement By As Much as 30 Percent,
we cite research suggesting that movement is essential for the
Body-Brain System to be in a peak state for thinking and learning.
just standing and walking can increase the blood supply to the thinking
areas of the brain significantly. Additionally, breakthroughs in
cognitive neuroscience show that various movements require extremely
high levels of cognitive function.
the classroom, regular physical activity and a focus on fitness has been
linked to higher academic performance. Specifically, a 2010 American
Heart Association study showed a correlation between physical fitness
and better results on standardized tests for a group of students in the
fifth through seventh grades. In addition to better academic
performances, the study provided evidence that the students were
healthier and happier as well.
We recommend allowing
time for physical exercise and movement in order to maximize learning.
Learning is best achieved when children are given the opportunity to
stand, stretch, run, and/or play. For young children who have not yet
developed a large capacity for attention, time in the playground for
informal, unstructured play can be especially important. For older
children and adults, a good solid workout or even a walk around the
block can help the brain function more efficiently.
So, here's to 2015 and a year of sensible nutrition, regular exercise, and good health for both your body and your brain!