The following videos were created with the help of the Rhythm and Moves staff, Recent Scientific Facts, News Clips and Articles, and Video, from a variety of experts in the field of the brain, moving and learning.  We compiled the first one a couple years ago.  The second video, Building Better Brains…” is more recent and filled with more ways of saying the same thing; Exercise Builds Better Brains and Bodies!

Since I started Teaching in 1983:

  • We were considered leaders in the world in among other things, education. Today, the OECD ranked the United States 14th out of 34 OECD countries for reading skills, 17th for science and a below-average 25th for mathematics.
  • The obesity rates have skyrocketed.  According to the OECD Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the US will be the fattest nation among the 33 countries by 2020.  3 out of 4 United States Citizens will be obese by 2020.  75% of our country.
  • In the 1980’s Obesity and Diabetes were NOT public health problems, it’s only taken us 40 years to do that.
  • The CDC, Center for Disease Control reported that over the last 30 years, over 20% of our children have become obese.
  • Health Risks resulting from Obesity:
  1. Heart Problems
  2. Heart Disease
  3. Hypertension
  4. Diabetes
  5. Sleep Disturbance
  6. Emotional Stress
  • International Diabetes Ass. Says 1-10 Adults (world wide) will have diabetes by 2030.
  • If the current trends continue; 1 in 3 kids born in 2000 will develop type 2 diabetes in their lifetime.
  • In the 1960’s the incident of Autism was 1 in 10,000.  Today, prevalence in the United States is estimated at 1 in 68 births. (CDC, 2014)
  • In 1970 approximately 150,000 cases of ADD were diagnosed.  500,000 in 1985, 1,000,000 in 1990 and today 6,000,000 or 12-13% of our Nation’s children are diagnosed with some form of ADD.

We have a brain to move

  • Smallest life form with a brain, common name “sea squirt”, finds a rock to feed and first, eats it’s own brain!
  • Only life that “Moves” on it’s own, has a brain.


  • Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor is created when we do aerobic exercise. A substance that strengthens cells and axons, fortifies the connections among neurons and sparks neurogenesis.
  • Large Muscle Movements seem to create more BDNF.

Brain Rules by John Medina
Brain Rules

Rule #1: Exercise boosts brain power.

The human brain evolved under conditions of almost constant motion. From this, one might predict that the optimal environment for processing information would include motion. That is exactly what one finds. Indeed, the best business meeting would have everyone walking at about 1.8 miles per hour.

Researchers studied two elderly populations that had led different lifestyles, one sedentary and one active. Cognitive scores were profoundly influenced. Exercise positively affected executive function, spatial tasks, reaction times and quantitative skills.

So researchers asked: If the sedentary populations become active, will their cognitive scores go up? Yes, it turns out, if the exercise is aerobic. In four months, executive functions vastly improve; longer, and memory scores improve as well.

Exercise improves cognition for two reasons:

  • Exercise increases oxygen flow into the brain, which reduces brain-bound free radicals. One of the most interesting findings of the past few decades is that an increase in oxygen is always accompanied by an uptick in mental sharpness.
  • Exercise acts directly on the molecular machinery of the brain itself. It increases neurons’ creation, survival, and resistance to damage and stress.