School children in India, irrespective of age group or gender, are lagging far behind as far as health and fitness levels are concerned, revealed The EduSports’ 5th Annual School Health and Fitness Study 2014.
The study that covered 1,15,559 children in the age group between 7 to 17 years in 287 schools across 85 cities from 23 states, involved assessment of key health and physical fitness parameters like anaerobic capacity, flexibility, lower and upper body strength and BMI among others.
In a comparative study between boys and girls it was found that 65% of girls have healthier BMI scores compared to 59% of boys. However, girls scored lower than boys in other fitness parameters (anaerobic capacity, flexibility, upper body strength and abdominal strength), which indicates that they are still short on overall fitness. The human brain is amazing. It takes all the information we receive each day and makes connections to other information that has been stored away. These are called neural connections. Neuro Technology has been around as a holistic healing and mind enhancement method a lot longer than most of us realise. Your brain is quite a spectacular organ. Many of us take it for granted since majority of our thoughts and actions operate from a subconscious level. Not many people realise that you can actually train your brain to perform at a much higher level than it is now. Imagine the world of possibilities and opportunities that will be opened up to you. You can find more on Neuro soundwaves at Bioneuro.co, do visit. Our brains contain billions of nerve cells, or neurons, that work to receive, process, and transmit information. Using dendrites, tentacle-like branches of the nerve cells, connections are made between neurons and information is transmitted from one to another. These connections are important to the learning process. In recent brain research, it has been discovered that our brains have the ability to constantly change structure and chemistry as they respond to stimulus within the environment. Scientists believe that we are born with a certain amount of neurons and that does not change. However, the brain does grow and develop new dendrites – the connections between memory and learning. As we teach our children, it is important for us to understand some of this brain information. In Brain Research and Education: Neuroscience Research Has Impact for Education Policy, an Education Commission of the States (ECS) report, it is stated, “Research shows [that]much of the ‘wiring’ of the brain’s neurons comes after birth and depends on the experiences infants and children have.” The optimum time for children to develop neural connections is between the ages of two and 11. During this time, the brain is most susceptible to input and is able to create neural connections that encourage memory and learning. So what do we do as teachers? We need to look at how we are teaching and think about how we can help our children develop these all important neural connections. These neural connections are made when children are taking part in activities they enjoy and which also challenge them. By providing a stimulating environment, we are able to help our children create more connections in the brain. Activities need to be multisensory and interactive. Science learning provides just what is needed for these neural connections to grow and expand. As children complete experiments and make conclusions, neural connections are made that enhance further learning. As an example, we are all concerned with the health of the earth and the effects we are having on our environment. Exposing our children to information about what happens to our environment when we dispose of our trash carelessly and having them do an experiment testing the decomposition of various materials helps them to become actively involved in the issue and develops a neural connection between an everyday activity and its effect on the world around us. Now when they encounter information about our environment, they are able to take that information and connect it to something in their lives. A path to memory is made and a lasting connection is developed. In just the last decade or two, scientists have discovered that exercise (more precisely, various aerobic activities) grows children’s (and adults) brains bigger, allowing them to learn and remember better (think, schoolwork). More specifically, when children get “out of breath,” new brain cells are birthed. That is, each time your child breathes much more deeply and faster than usual due to vigorous play, exercise or labor-intensive chores, he/she starts the process of growing new brain cells from the stem cells located in the hippocampus (a major learning and memory part of the brain). As the human growth hormone travels through the bloodstream, it calls into action the body’s growth factors. These proteins, including Insulin-like Growth Factor, Fibroblast Growth Factor and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor, play a vital role in building a stronger, more efficient body that can take in and process more oxygen AND they travel to the brain itself, where they work with Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor to birth new brain cells and create new blood vessels to supply oxygen and nutrients to those newly formed brain cells. Then, when your children attempt to learn something new, these recently birthed neurons are put to work forming new neural circuits – allowing the children to more easily learn and remember the information or skill.
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