When I found out it was “National Preschool Fitness Day” I was a more than a little excited. When thinking about school most people squirm at the thought of Physical Education, better known as Gym. For me, Gym class was a time for me to “reset” my brain, forget about the stresses of science class and partake in friendly competitions with my peers.
Today more and more Physical Education programs are being eliminated from schools. However, most people don’t realize the benefits students receive from being active go far beyond the gymnasium. For instance, did you know exercise can actually increase student performance in the classroom? Research shows that when kids exercise it improves their concentration and ability to absorb new information.
Researcher John Medina, molecular biologist and author of Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home and School (2008), suggests “in-classroom exercise” to help students learn. Medina suggests teachers hold exercise breaks for their students to help energize their mind and bodies. Things such as daily stretches, calisthenics, and in-place exercises, which can all be done inside a classroom, are easy solutions to help your students focus.
In addition, sharing books about fitness and healthy foods will encourage children to make the right choices from any early age.
Looking for a starting point? Check out our "Get #BookFit" campaign we have been hosting all month long. As excitment builds around the Olympics we have compiled some great videos of superstar athletes, book recommendations from Olympic gold medalists, and book lists all about winter sports. Here are just a few of our favorite resouces:
●Gold medalist and Olympic athlete Kristi Yamaguchi shares her five favorite books.
●Four imspiring stories about women in sports.
●Basketball star Amar’e Stoudemire has a special reading message for kids.
●Read about the frosty adventures of skiers and snowboarders.
●Get kids learning and moving. Try these activities that mix education, movement, and an all-inclusive attitude.
●You can find all of these #BookFit resources and more on Pinterest.