“Exercise is the single most powerful tool that we have to optimize the function of our brains.”
—Dr. John J. Ratey, Harvard Medical School
Hamilton Ridge Academy believes that students who exercise regularly not only build their physical health but also their mental health. During a typical school day, students will go no more than an hour without some sort of activity break that will incorporate structured and unstructured play. Hands-on activities will also be incorporated into daily lessons to keep kids moving.
What the Experts Say
Study after study shows that physical activity activates the brain, improves cognitive function, and is correlated with improved academic performance (Donnelly & Lambourne, 2011).
"When one exercises," Christin Anderson, MS, wellness and fitness coordinator of the University of San Francisco says, "you can think more clearly, perform better, and your morale is better. This is pure science -- stimulate your nervous system and function at a higher level." (Train Your Brain With Exercise (webmd.com))
The study, led by Dr. Caterina Stamoulis, analyzed brain imaging data from nearly 6,000 9- and 10-year-olds. It found that physical activity was associated with more efficiently organized, robust, and flexible brain networks. The more physical activity, the more “fit” the brain. It didn’t matter what kind of physical activity children were involved in,” says Dr. Stamoulis, who directs the Computational Neuroscience Laboratory at Boston Children’s. “It only mattered that they were active.” (Regular physical activity linked to more ‘fit’ preteen brains, Fliesler (2021))