“Ring, Ring, It’s Your Brain Calling: Get Up!”

Next time you consider hitting the snooze button or flipping off your calendar prompt when it’s time to workout… Don’t. Resist the urge to sit tight. Get up and move. Don’t do it to squeeze into that size 8 dress in the back of the closet or look good at your upcoming reunion. Don’t do it for a healthy heart. Do it for your brain.

Exercise Boosts Brain Power

Brain Rules by John Medina is one of my very favorite books. There are 12 rules, but the first is “exercise boosts brain power.” I could summarize the main points of his chapter here, but I encourage you to check out Professor Medina’s interactive explanations on the Brain Rules site and the YouTube video below.

Don’t Stop with Exercise

Medina advises weaving activity into other tasks, and this idea may be taking off in the workplace. A client from my day job recently reported that her employer put a treadmill with a laptop desk, power cord, and Internet connection in the middle of the new open space office so employees can walk and work (maximum speed 2 miles/hour).

Playground Power

Earlier this month, I heard a PRI radio report about the impact of longer recess on student achievement in Finland. It appears that the secret to smarts isn’t more time in class but out. That prompted me to send an email to the Fairfield school board to understand why high school students are not required to take gym every semester.

I won’t bore with you the long reply, which noted that there was increasing pressure for standardized testing and that Fairfield actually requires more physical education than the state’s standard for graduation. Instead I’ll share the good news about recent legislation: Apparently teachers cannot require participation in gym as a form of punishment. Whoopie.

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