Physical activity undertaken at the start of each school day:
- improves students’ mood
- improves students' focus
- improves students' physical health
- stimulates brain activity
- sets students up for a day of maximum learning
Physical Activity Gets Your Brain Ready To Learn
"Exercise is 'Miracle Grow' for the Brain. To keep our brains at peak performance, our bodies need to work hard.”
- John J. Ratey, M.D., Author of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain
In his groundbreaking work Spark, Dr. Ratey explains how aerobic exercise performed daily prepares our brains to learn and improves both mood and attention. In fact, Dr. Ratey suggests that the greatest results are achieved when aerobic activity is combined with motor tasks that require thought. Based on his research at Naperville Central High School in Naperville, Illinois, Dr. Ratey establishes a direct correlation between aerobic exercise and learning, especially learning in young children. Dr. Ratey’s findings are an integral part of the My School In Motion program. His research and that of others continues to prove that connecting the body and mind through physical activity improves learning and attention, and reduces discipline issues on campuses across the country.
Health Education Standards: Good Health and Academic Success Go Hand In Hand
As noted in the introduction to the Health Education Content Standards for California Public Schools, “Good health and academic success go hand in hand. Healthy children make better students, and better students become healthy, successful adults, who are productive members of their communities. Comprehensive health education that addresses the physical, mental, emotional, and social aspects of health teaches students how to maintain and improve their health; prevent disease; reduce health-related risk behaviors; and develop health knowledge, attitudes, and skills that foster academic achievement, increase attendance rates, and improve behavior at school.”
In addition to its goal of enhancing students’ cognitive performance, My School In Motion recognized the challenge faced by schools to provide adequate physical education during a time of tight budgets. Recognizing the daily benefits of daily exercise, and that a physically active child is more likely to become an active, healthy, happy, and productive adult, our program was designed to support the standards for physical education and health education so that students learn to make smart, healthy choices to last a lifetime. For a summary of how My School in Motion complies with many of the Physical Education and Health Education Content Standards.
The Childhood Obesity Problem
Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled. Today, nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese. The numbers are even higher in African American and Hispanic communities, where nearly 40% of the children are overweight or obese. Without substantive reform in our approach to exercise and nutrition, one third of all children born in 2000 or later will suffer from diabetes at some point in their lives. Many others will face chronic obesity-related health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and asthma.
Watch the documentary Bite Size for a compelling look at the child obesity problem.