This Is Your Brain on Exercise

Get students physically active to spur better brain function

Prevention First is an initiative by the California Department of Public Health to increase opportunities for students to participate in moderate-to-intense physical activity (PA), with a goal of 60 minutes every day. A 2013 Institute of Medicine report found that students who do this exhibit improved brain function, a greater attention span, faster cognitive processing speed, and better performance on standardized academic tests.

A guide called “Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program: A Guide for Schools” developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can help educators implement PA for their students — and themselves. Components of a school PA program include enhanced physical education; PA at school, such as activity breaks integrated into each class period; and staff involvement, such as onsite walking clubs, fitness classes, stretching at meetings, etc.

Go to and search for Prevention First to download the guide.

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