I think most of us understand the value of exercise in keeping the body strong and healthy, but did you know that exercise is essential for healthy brain development, and to keep a strong, sharp mind?
“Movement of our large muscles is one of the biggest sources of stimulation for the growing brain. It is why kids need to be outside playing ball and climbing trees instead of sitting for hours…” Dr. Robert Melillo from Austism
I don’t know if you know this, but babies are born with only 25% of their brain developed which means the other 75% of their brain grows after they are born. Physical activity helps a child’s brain to grow. Unfortunately, many parents think educational tv and computer games will help their children become smarter. When we replace active play with hours of sitting, we are actually working against what we want to achieve.
Let them play. Let them run. Let them jump. Let them move.
The more active we are, the more active our brains will be. If we want our brains to be stronger and able to process information faster, we must move our bodies. Here’s another interesting fact: Our bodies also respond to stress better when we’re physically active. Dr. Robert Melilo explains this, ”
“The sympathetic system is referred to as the fight-or-flight system. It jumps into action even before we know what is happening. It’s what makes us swerve to avoid a collision or jump back on the curb when a bus comes out of nowhere…So, to a certain degree, it is always on the ready, meaning it has an “idling speed…Because the sympathetic nervous system is so spontaneous and swift, we need to keep it from getting out of control. This is where the parasympathetic nervous system comes in. It gets us back to “rest and digest” mode. Once the danger is gone, we need to be able to shut the sympathetic system down as quickly as possible.
The activity and balance of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems set the idling speed of the body. However there is a second idling speed–the one in the brain. The brain’s idling speed is essentially the rate at which it can process and share information…As the idling speed of the brain grows faster, the idling speed of the body or the sympathetic stress response goes down, putting less strain on our body.“
Simply said, we respond better to stress when our brains are more active, and our brains are more active when our bodies are active. We all benefit when we are physically active! Getting active doesn’t have to be complicated. Do what you enjoy.
Walk. Ride bikes. Jump rope. Jump on the trampoline. Skate. Hike. Play a sport. Garden. Swim. Take the stairs. Dance!
Make being active a part of the educational plan for your children. It’s amazing how something so simple, easy and natural can have such great results.
Now get up and move!