Skill acquisition and aerobic exercise have huge beneficial effects on brain function. Variation of movement exercise like Karate, ballet, gymnastics, skating etc engage nerve cells throughout the brain. Studies of dancers showed that moving in irregular rhythm versus a regular one improves brain plasticity.
So, get moving. Move in different direction using various parts of your body. Move in unnatural patterns. Any motor skill more complicated than walking or running has to be learnt, and thus it challenges the brain.
With repetition you’re always creating thinker myelin (Helps transfer nerve impulses) around the nerve fibres, which improves the quality and the speed of the signals and, in turn, the circuits efficiency.
“School have the power to change children’s brains, all they have to do is get them exercising vigorously every single day”.
As you master certain moves you can incorporate them into more complicated moves. Also, reacting to another persons movements put further demands on your attention, judgment and precision of movement and add in fun and of course the social aspect and you’re activating the brain and the muscles all the way down through the nervous system.
Forget anything else, it’s exercise and complex movements that make your brainier, mentally sharper and aerobically fitter.
Excerpts from Dr. John Ratey
Get kids hooked on moving instead of sitting and they are likely to do the same as adults.
More and more research suggests that school children should participate in one hour (or more) of moderate to vigorous physical activity a day. When looking at academic performance they found that physical activity has a positive influence on memory, concentration and classroom behaviour. The problem with most schools now is that PE class actually discourages exercise because for the most part kids aren’t actually exercising. They’re generally standing around in boring lines drills bouncing a ball back and forward. This type of class will not encourage any child to get involved. It’s not stimulating nor will it help develop or improve motor skills and just puts kids off from getting involved.
If exercise improves learning then these kids will go back into the classroom not ready to learn. Schools have the power to change children’s brains, all they have to do is get them exercising vigorously every single day. How hard can that be!!!
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