Local Lawmakers Push to Boost Recess, P.E. In Elementary Schools

Originally published March 8, 2018 by WAMU 88.5, American University.

By Kathy Goldgeier and Jonathan Wilson

Lawmakers in Virginia and Maryland are looking at ways to expand recess and physical education in elementary schools amid growing concern that kids don’t get enough exercise.

“It’s really staggering how out of a shape a lot of the kids are,” said Matt Slatkin, a P.E. teacher at Newport Mill Middle School in Kensington, describing his sixth-grade students. “I’m talking mile runs above 18 minutes — when they’re giving their best effort.”

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Brief Bouts of Exercise Can Spark Big Bursts of Brain Power

Originally published Jan. 1, 2018 in Psychology  Today.

By Christopher Bergland, The Athlete’s Way

Just 10 minutes of aerobic exercise can improve executive function by priming parts of the brain used to laser focus on the task at hand, according to a new study. This paper, “Executive-Related Oculomotor Control Is Improved Following a 10-minute Single-Bout of Aerobic Exercise: Evidence from the Antisaccade Task,” was published in the January 2018 issue of Neuropsychologia.

This research was conducted by Matthew Heath, who is a kinesiology professor and supervisor in the Graduate Program in Neuroscience at the University of Western Ontario, along with UWO master’s student Ashna Samani.

For this study, Samani and Heath asked a cohort of healthy young adults to either sit quietly and read magazines or perform 10 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) on a stationary bicycle. (MVPA aerobic intensity is hard enough that you might break a sweat but easy enough that you can carry on a conversation.)

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