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How to Exercise the Brain

I received an interesting email about using music and physical activity for exercising the brain. This teacher uses the technique with students prior to tests. His email is below...

From Mark Pankau

I was reading one of your recent e-mails on raising IQ levels, including the part on exercising the brain. In my teaching, student reading research, and brain based learning presentations to teachers I include additional information on exercising the body to improve the brain.

Elevating the heart rate increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain. Coupled with water to thin the blood to carry the increased oxygen, and some natural sugar (fruit), it is said to light up the brain like a July 4th celebration.

At my school we are becoming increasing well known as the school that performs a 30-minute activity session before students take their Virginia State Standards Of Learning Tests (SOL's). I bring the entire grade level to the gym at 8 AM, and for twenty minutes we perform non-stop physical activities with high beat music. For the next ten minutes the music changes to a low beat rhythm as we first perform select Brain Gym (R) exercises, then relax and listen to the music, often Mozart as you suggest.

It is important to get three waves to flow in unison; heart wave, brain wave and music wave. Afterwards students are released to their classroom teacher for watering purposes. Teachers and Principal report a more relaxed and focused student - even when the test takes up to three hours. We have been featured in a Washington Post Newspaper article, and I have presented and been published through the state Physical Education association.

This is just a sampling of what I do for our teachers and students on a daily basis to help insure they are better prepared for learning, and having fun doing it. Emotional Quotient, for me, is just as important as Intellectual Quotient.

Thanks for allowing me to share some of my brain activities. As I tell the teachers who sit (and play!) in my workshops, the Headbone is connected to the rest of the body - so get up and move.

Mark Pankau
Physical Educator & 2011 Loudoun County Teacher of the Year
Guilford Elementary School - Loudoun County Virginia

Other pages on exercising the brain:

Brain Exercise

Quick Brain Exercises

Brain Exercises for Specific Purposes

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