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Movement, Fitness, Dance and Learning For our full research paper on Generation FIT and ExerLearning, e-mail info@generation-fit.com or visit our blog at http://exerlearning.blogspot.com As Einstein so succinctly pointed out, "Learning is experience. Everything else is just information." Piaget, the noted child development specialist studied by future teachers, labeled this learning sensorimotor and determined it was the child's earliest form of learning. Since then, brain research has proven them both to be right.

ExerLearning® In times of diminishing financial resources, educators must make hard choices. Do dance, fitness skills, balance and physical education belong in the school budget? Are they frills or fundamentals? When classroom teachers are over-scheduled and busier than ever, is there time for movement, exercise and dance in the learning environment? What exactly does brain research tell us about the relationship between the body and mind?

For years, it seemed the educational and scientific communities believed that “thinking was thinking and movement was movement,” and never the twain would meet. Maverick scientists envisioned links between thinking and movement for decades -- but with little public support. Today, we know better. Educator, Judy Shasek and researched in Maine (Dr. Ann Maloney) and PA have scoured the research done in more than 200 studies. There is no denying the strong links between physical education, the arts – including dance, and cognitive learning. (More quantitative studies will be released in Summer 2007)

The estimated annual cost of obesity in the United States is about 100 billion dollars – 127 million dollars of which is related to obesity in children six to 17. And with obesity come the corresponding dangers of high blood pressure, stroke, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even cancer. A 1993 study showed that only tobacco cause more deaths per year than the nearly 300,000 deaths brought on by inactivity and poor nutrition. So, obviously, we want our children to get and stay active! Can we add activity while enhancing academic success? YES!

For those who place greater importance on the functions of the mind than on the functions of the body, there’s important news here, too: More movement makes smarter kids. Recent brain research has demonstrated a connection between the cerebellum, the part of the brain previously associated with motor control only, and such cognitive functions as memory, spatial orientation, attention, language, and decision making, among others. And that’s not even all that the research shows! Take a look at this exciting study of ZERO Hour PE and research by Dr. James Ratey. and more from the PE4Life website.

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