Mental Mornings Info #1
The Mental Mornings program continues to gain support, and we want you to know more about the first program from Advantage University specifically designed to use the benefits of exercise to boost brain power. In the Mental Mornings program, we will use cardiovascular training that floods the brain with oxygen rich blood and regulates hormone levels so your child (and you!) can attack the day with a body and brain that are primed for maximal learning.
The Backstory: Why Mental Mornings?
In an era when school boards were cutting gym class from the curriculum, one high school in Napierville, IL was making it a very attractive offering. In 1990, Napierville 203 Physical Education teacher Phil Lawler came across an article which blamed the declining health of US children on their lack of physical activity. This led Lawler to develop a new P.E. curriculum that focused more on learning about fitness rather than learning how to play sports. The school chose a group of struggling students to be the guinea pigs for the new fitness-based P.E. class they called “Zero-Hour P.E” because it was done before the school’ first class period.
After one semester, the Zero Hour classmates showed a 10% greater improvement in reading comprehension than the other students at the school who opted to sleep in. The school administration was so impressed by the improvements in these students, they decided to include the Zero Hour class as a first period option called “Learning Readiness PE”, and encouraged all students to take their hardest classes after PE. Since then the popularity of PE has risen exponentially, and as a result, students in the Napierville school system boast a 3% rate of obesity while the rest of the country hovers around 30%. Also, in 1999, Napierville 8th graders placed first in science, and sixth in math in the global TIMSS (Trends in Mathmatics and Science Study)
We are looking to bring the success of the Napierville program to Ann Arbor by running a program that captures the benefits of Zero Hour PE. As a pilot program, we will run Mental Mornings on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings from September 9th to December 20th, 2013. Workouts will have a serious fun factor, and be designed to elevate heart rate while challenging conditioning, coordination, and strength. If you haven’t already, sign up here to receive more information about Mental Mornings. The emails that follow will explain how exercise helps improve brain function, how we will structure the workouts, and the final details of the program. Share Mental Mornings with other families you think would benefit from a program designed to boost brain function and physical health. Until next time…