Get Them Moving: The Benefits of Movement-Infused Learning
Dr Kathie Nunley, 2017
No one can dispute
the growing evidence showing the strong relationship between exercise
and cognitive ability. We have seen the research on how increasing
aerobic activity leads to better brain function, particularly executive
are teaching preschoolers their colors and animals, reviewing math
facts with your 5th graders, or introducing new vocabulary to your
high school biology students, get them moving while learning. Up
and involved always beats sit to get. Let students move during the
actual learning of the content, and you've made a stronger learning
pathway in their heads.
We have a wealth
of research and information on how physical activity increases the
neurotransmitter norepinephrine which directly impacts the brain’s
ability to learn and store new information. Simply walking while
learning increases cognition and creative thought - an important
issue to address because children have become significantly less
creative and free thinking, and less intellectually curious in the
Even the most
recent research shows that aerobic activity prior to learning not
only increases the brain's neurotransmitters, it also increases
capillaries in the brain and improves blood flow. Exercise improves
learning and retention.
is even more powerful, so when weather and logistics allow, try
an outdoor learning session. Pair students and have them practice
new learning while walking the school grounds or track. Or, just
push the desks out of the way and have a "stand and walk"
day inside the classroom. Be creative - standing desks as learning
stations, hopscotch learning games, beachball vocabulary.
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