Neurobiology of Physical Movement: How Physical Movement Enhances Neurocognitive Functions, Learning, and Mood
AbstractThis presentation will explain how physical activity (e.g., walking aerobic exercises, etc.) alters brain chemistry and connectivity in a way that sharpens memory, attention, executive functioning, mood and the various stages of the learning process. Each level of physical activity induces specific neurochemical and neurophysiological changes in the brain. Participants will also learn how physical activity enhances production of brain growth factors, increases volume of hippocampus (a major memory processing structure), enhances neuroplasticity, and slows down cognitive aging. In addition, the session will discuss specific levels of activity recommended for adults and for children, and will explain how physical activity can be integrated within the daily classroom schedule to enhance positive student engagement and learning outcomes. Some model school-based physical education programs that have led to remarkable improvement in academic performance will be discussed.