While in Boston with Reebok, I was able to listen to an incredible man speak as well as learn about Reebok’s involvement in a program to help kids become more active and therefore do better in school!
Dr. John Ratey is a psychologist and author of the books “Go Wild” and “Spark” focusing on the effects of exercise on the brain and it’s stimulation – both in adults and mostly in the minds of children.
Physical Education is an area in our schools today where there is a lack of attention put into the importance of exercise. Many physical ed classes have been taken out schools’ curriculums either all together or at minimal intervals. Without getting into huge detail, the science proved something simple: “The one thing you can do to maintain cognitive function and decline aging process from a young age – Exercise”
Dr Ratey shared a lot of information based on studies he’s participated in or conducted related to the impact of Exercise on the brain and on our overall health and wellness:
* Exercise is now seen as a a treatment for depression and any anxiety or mood issues
* Endorphins are free and holistic vs morphine or marijuana that have the same impact on the brain
* In regards to children, we’ve seen higher test scores with children who are fit and active before starting their day
* In a comparison of 20 students – after a walk they showed an increase in brain activity
* The CEO of the brain is the frontal lobe, it’s the last to develop, makes us human, and is turned on when we exercise (can also get sleepy in those with ADD or ADHD)
* Mayo clinic studies show that brain function improved in cognitive tests in those people exercised versus those who didn’t
* We shouldn’t look for long term effects immediately – those come later and are guarantee when we exercise. Instead, we should look for the acute effects: better day happier etc
Dr. Ratey also partners with Reebok alongside Kathleen Tullie to also support the BOKS program. The BOKS program, which stands for Build Our Kids Success, was founded by Kathleen (an initiative of Reebok and the Reebok Foundation) when she had a vested interest in helping her own children become more active in their day. After reading his book, Spark, she finally had evidence to support her mission of getting kids to be more active so that they could do better in school and be fit overall – she her past experience as an athlete to remind others that being active creates positivity that is missing in our schools with programs supporting fitness being almost obsolete.
The Program is simple and effective! You can get more info on how to get involved in the BOKS program HERE or to see how to enroll your kid’s school!