Good Morning Folks!
This week’s installment comes via suggestion from a client who read about the following case studies and was impressed with the results.
Dr. John J. Ratey, author of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Education and the Brain and a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, has concluded that exercise “puts the brain of learners in the optimal position for them to learn.”
Dr. Ratey believes that pressure on schools to raise students’ standardized test scores has resulted in only 6 percent of American schools offering physical education (PE) five days a week.
However, as reported in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology in 2007, children who received high “grades” on “tests” that gauged aerobic fitness and body-mass index, also tended to receive higher grades on state exams in reading and math.
A different study, done in Georgia, indicated that students who exercised for longer periods (40 minutes as opposed to 20) “performed” two times better in the classroom.
A suburban school district west of Chicago, with the guidance of Dr. Ratey, implemented what is now called a “learning readiness” PE class and found that students who exercised in their target heart range (65%-75% of their maximum) for 25 minutes, just prior to classes in which they had the most difficulty, almost doubled their performance versus those students, having similar troubles, who just attended their academic classes.
A year later, the same results were not seen when the “learning readiness” and the “tough” academic classes were scheduled six hours apart. That has led school authorities to recommend that ALL students schedule their toughest academic subjects immediately after PE.
While no one is 100% sure how this all works, one thing is for sure… the less “organized” the activity, the better the performance in the classroom. Meaning, that physical activity that promotes “fitness” rather than time spent focusing on sports skills and game rules provides for a better learning environment in a student’s brain.
I guess what my brother and I used to say growing up isn’t all that true. We joked that; “those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach (sorry Mom). And, those who can’t teach, teach gym”.
So the next time your kids want to be kids, let them, maybe they’ll become doctors, lawyers or…personal trainers?
Before I leave you this week, I just wanted to thank those of you who sent me some good info. regarding last week’s installment regarding water.
One client pointed out that there are portable collapsible water bottles which take up very little room when empty (i.e. fit in a purse or briefcase).
Another mentioned not to re-use plastic #1 and stressed that freezing water in bottles is less of a health issue than leaving them in a hot car. She also provided this link: http://storyofstuff.org/bottledwater/ where you can learn why your best choices for plastics are: #2 HDPE, #4 LDPE and #5 PP, #1 PET and PLA, and why you should avoid #3 PVC, #6 PS and #7 PC.