Part 2: Rest Day Read (SR-8)
Today’s article by Lisa Bakshi describes her research on exercise and academic performance with 2nd grade students at an elementary school in San Diego, California. Not only did the study group perform proficient or advanced on state math and language arts standardized tests, they also exhibited a strong desire for the exercise program to continue because it made them feel healthier and smarter. A big THANK YOU to Lisa Bakshi and CrossFit Kids (www.crossfitkids.com). Simple solutions to complex problems.
How to Build a Better Neural Highway? By Cyndi Rodi
“Complexity in movement engages the cognitive and motor areas of the brain in tandem. This facilitates more efficient and effective brain function that provides for better information processing and recall.”
Exercise Seen as Priming Pump for Students’ Academic Strides. By Debra Viadero
“Had the creators of No Child Left Behind looked at the data, they would’ve have realized that physical activity is good for the brain,” said Charles H. Hillman, an associate professor of kinesiology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
With his university colleague Darla M. Castelli, Mr. Hillman assessed the physical-fitness levels of 239 3rd and 5th graders from four Illinois elementary schools. Their findings published last year, in the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, show that children who got good marks on two measures of physical fitness-those that gauge aerobic fitness and body-mass index-tended also to have higher scores on state exams in reading and mathematics. That relationship also held true regardless of children’s gender or socioeconomic differences.”
Will CrossFit Make American Kids Smarter? By Lisa Bakshi
“This enormous increase in achievement in the core subjects was accomplished despite the fact that students were out of the classroom and away from direct instruction for 30 minutes a day in order to take part in the CrossFit Kids workout of the day.” (Note: Remember priming the pump?) “The previously cited argument that participation in daily fitness classes takes away from academic performance was simply not observed in this research project. The fact that the treatment group was able to out-perform every other group of students in the school in the area of mathematics may even provide indirect evidence of a causal relationship between exercise and cognition.”