Your Brain on Physical Fitness

I recently watched this video of a P.E. teacher who took something the kids love and worked it into his class.  My first thought was what a great way to connect with the kids and have fun! Heck, have you tried playing a dance video game?  You work up a sweat for sure!  But not everyone feels this is a good thing.  One commenter said they “…would take their child out of that school because they are there to learn, not do a stupid dance.”  Why can’t learning be fun?  Is it really important for physical fitness to be implemented in our childs day at school?  Does It take away from all the academics?

So what does exercise do to our brain?  In a study done at Harvard Medical School they found that exercise, specifically aerobic exercise, “boosts the size of the hippocampus, the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning.”

“The benefits of exercise come directly from its ability to reduce insulin resistance, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the release of growth factors—chemicals in the brain that affect the health of brain cells, the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, and even the abundance and survival of new brain cells.”

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So with all of this, why would you ever want your child to be completely inactive during school?  This is the part of their day where they should be soaking up as much information as possible.  This does not apply to just children either.  As we get older our brain can grow weaker if we do not exercise it both mentally through reading, puzzles, etc. and physically through aerobic exercise.  As the brain grows weaker we are more subject to Dementia and Alzheimer’s.  Not only this, but so many struggle from common mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety.  These things are all controllable and sometimes completely preventable with daily exercise and proper nutrition.

 Life is about healthy balance no matter what age we might be. We need to find our balance and educate our children on how to find theirs, so they may have a fighting chance for their future.  

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