By Karen Creasey
Here in the desert fall creeps in with a warm blanket and long shadows. This year it is visiting us with an early back to school date and many excited students. Some kids however do not look forward to school and the learning process. Quite possibly you have one of them living in your home or maybe you yourself are a student with anxiety.
Back to school stress is not much fun, but there is a simple stress reducing remedy that is as easy as 1-2-3 and A-B-C.
It is well documented that physical fitness encourages brain function. People who are active and exercise absorb and retain new information more effectively than people who are not. In other words, moving the body is fundamental to moving the mind. Getting in shape (and staying in shape) can make you smarter.
Physical fitness does not necessarily require an expensive gym membership or a large chunk of time from your schedule. What it really requires is awareness and desire. Simple activities such as taking the stairs instead of riding the elevator or riding your bike to school instead of sitting in a car are actions that can assist in changing a test score. When the blood pumps through the body because the heart is hard at work, it pumps through the brain as well depositing very valuable oxygen along the way. Oxygen is vital to brain growth and healing.
The Brain Uses More Oxygen Than Your Muscles
Did you know that the brain uses about three times as much oxygen as the muscles in your body do? Brain cells are very sensitive to decreases in oxygen. They don’t survive or function very long without it. Moving the body requires a deeper inhale and exhale then sitting sedentary on the couch. By moving you force a greater amount of oxygen into your body and in turn it helps stimulate brain and enhance the learning process.
There are many ways to move your body. Think about it. Stand instead of sit. Run instead of walk. Take the bike instead of the car. Swim a few laps, do a few leg lifts, sink into a few deep knee bends. Whatever it is just move your body and get your heart pumping. Your brain will thank you.
If you need a class or two to get motivated don’t hesitate to call Karen, personal trainer, at the Palm Desert Aquatic Center. I’d love to help.