Thursday, April 23, 2009

Physical education sparks brain activity

The concept of integrating regular physical tune-ups into the school day is growing.

For some its simply, "common sense" built on centuries of thinking based on the close link between body and mind fitness.

For the "prove it" crowd, a growing body of research suggests that physical activity might pay intellectual dividends in the classroom. Books such as the popular "Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain" by Harvard psychiatrist John J. Ratey are blaring the message that a sweat-inducing workout improves brain function.

These days P.E. has moved beyond the "sweat-inducing workout to a more consistent position mirroring the 60 minutes per day of physical activity in what are considered life time sports and activities. P.E. is designed to be accommodating rather than intimidating -- it's less about bats and balls and getting picked for a team and more about lifetime sports and fitness. Instead of pushing kids to be first in a sprint, the new model encourages children to push themselves for a set amount of time, be it walking or running.

More on Physical Education Good for Body, Brain