Exercise makes you happier AND smarter!

I like to workout, I try to do 40-60 minutes a day of either aerobic videos and/or walking/biking kids to school.  Walking/biking kids to school is fun because I’m with my awesome kids.  Unfortunately the weather here has been really unpredictable in the past few months so we haven’t walked/biked as much as I’d like. So I started using aerobic/weight videos everyday (The Firm Express) while my 4 year old either dances to the music or she’s watching Play School in another room.  I have been using these videos for approx. 7-8 months now and so I know the routines well…..so much so that I find myself thinking about my study or how I might create a set of lesson plans for my next prac experience.  At first I was annoyed, I just wanted to concentrate on the workout but then I realised that I was thinking of new ideas, different ways of looking at a problem or simply organising stuff in my mind better.

Wow! Is exercise making me think better?  Well I know that exercise makes me feel better, so it probably makes sense that it might help me think more clearly (productively).

I did a quick YouTube search and found this good video on the topic which states studies (although does not reference the study).

Here’s a short one – Doctors: Exercise makes you smarter

I definitely haven’t stumbled on anything NEW here.  It makes sense that exercise is good for our bodies and therefore would makes us feel better and help us to think better too.

So here’s the big loaded question!  If exercise makes people happier and smarter why is there not a lot of focus on this at most schools?  Why is my kid only getting one PE class per week at school?  He’s in grade 3 and it sounds like he runs around during lunch breaks playing something they call “Star Wars Tiggy”, which I understand to basically be a game of tag (chasing) and they also pretend to be Star Wars characters; can kids get any cuter?  🙂  I think we all know/have-experienced that “playing” during lunch breaks decreases as you get into the older years.  This is also one of the reasons that parents are so motivated to get their kids into organised sports, but this can cost money & time and some families just can’t afford it.  Personally I think there should be more sports or playing-around activities in schools not just to keep kids active & healthy physically but also mentally……imagine teaching happier students!

I’d like to hear your thoughts on this, especially why you think schools tend to not have a lot of sports/PE.

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