Winchester, VA (PRWEB) September 12, 2012
There is a new action plan to raise students’ academic achievement and improve their health and fitness at the same time. It is detailed in the parent/teacher handbook, Smarter Stronger Children. Called the Mega Brain Power Boosters / Muscle Makers Program for Excellence, it is designed as an all-in-one solution for:
The Mega Brain Power Boosters / Muscle Makers (MBPB/MM) Program for Excellence is tailored for use right in the classroom, during the teaching and learning process, with each child remaining right beside his/her desk. It offers several levels of ease or difficulty to capture the attention of even the most distracted or advanced child, it includes varying movements to enhance brain activity (including the crucial cross-lateral stimulation of the corpus callosum), it is quickly done (a minute or two to five or ten minutes at a time), children LOVE it, learning is increased, fat is burned, muscle is built, it’s easy for teachers and/or parents, and it can be tailored to any teacher’s or parent’s classroom or home study format. It’s an ideal way to start the day or a class period and for when children can’t get outside at home or school for whatever reason.
The fact that the Mega Brain Power Boosters / Muscle Makers action plan really is an all-in-one solution to these problems (listed above) is based on the findings of recent neuroscience and other research studies measuring the effects of aerobic and anaerobic exercise on physical AND mental well being. A study out of Loughborough University in England, for example, found that a single 30-second all-out sprint on a stationary bike resulted in a 5-fold increase in serum Hgh (human growth hormone) concentrations; Hgh not only builds muscle and incinerates fat, but also signals the unleashing of a number of growth factors that actually grow new brain cells (and servicing blood vessels) in the learning and memory part of the brain – the hippocampus.
In other research, in 2011 the King’s Daughters Medical Center in Mississippi, found that a 20-minute workout (an eight-week, three-times-per-week program) that alternated 30-second anaerobic sprints with 90-second aerobic active recoveries was able to reduce the body fat of obese and overweight hospital workers by 31% and increase Hgh levels by 771% over baseline without any other lifestyle changes. This style of workout is called High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). The MBPB/MM program includes a component called Brain Sprints which is in essence HIIT for the classroom and home. And, the best news is that 5 to10 minutes of HIIT (think, Brain Sprints) is equivalent, results-wise, to 20 to 40 minutes of steady-state moderate aerobic activities (e.g., continuous walking or jogging).
Other research has found that elementary-age children who walked on a treadmill for 20 minutes (aerobic exercise) prior to a standardized reading comprehension test scored an average of about one whole grade level higher than they scored when they sat for 20 minutes before taking the test. In Naperville, Illinois, teachers found that students who took a special fitness-oriented PE class right before a remedial math class did much better than the control group that did not exercise before class; at the close of the semester, the exercisers had improved by 20.4% compared to 3.9% for the non-exercisers. This is because in addition to promoting the growth of new brain cells from stem cells in the hippocampus, aerobic exercise actually releases a host of brain-boosting chemicals, everything from neurotransmitters to endocannabinoids to nitric oxide and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which prepare students to learn optimally for an hour or more post exercise. If the exercise is as sufficiently vigorous as are the MBPB/MM and their Brain Sprints, then 5 to 10 minutes will do the trick.
While time and budget constraints and issues don’t allow most schools to follow Naperville’s example, the MBPB/MM action plan is very doable – very affordable. It is equally beneficial whether used right before taking a test to improve test results, for calming students down when hyperactive and overwrought, to wake them up when eyes begin to cross, as a rainy-day fun activity or to energize a homework session at home. The Mega Brain Power Boosters / Muscle Makers Program for Excellence, explained in the Smarter Stronger Children parent/teacher handbook, really will produce smarter, healthier children.