Brain breaks and physical activity enhance learning


As an educator, you know this all too well. You see it in your classroom with your students. Elementary students spend over a quarter of their time at school distracted. They are unable to focus on you or their current task.

You know that you need to find a way to harness the energy they have and channel it so that you can have a productive day.

One way to do this is to take short breaks throughout the day. Brain breaks can split up a long subject block. Or you can take them when switching between subjects like math and reading. Brain breaks allow students to:

Brain breaks take advantage of the brain’s “default state.” This state is usually associated with taking a break or letting the mind wander. Research showed that even when the brain is in its “default state” it is still active.

But taking brain breaks isn’t only important for student learning. You need to combine them with physical activity to let them release some of their pent-up energy. Simple physical activities are the perfect companion to a brain break. Walking, jogging, or running are all great options. Physical activity brain breaks allow your students to come back to class refreshed.

Physical activity:

The Daily Mile is a free and simple initiative that is a physical activity brain break. And it can improve classroom management and focus when kept up over an extended period.

Research has shown that it takes about 21 days for an activity to become a habit.

To help with building the habit, The Daily Mile has a 21-Day Tracker. After doing The Daily Mile, kids can color, check off, or put a sticker over each shoe on the tracker.

Then ask yourself…

  • Has the habit of The Daily Mile stuck after 21 days? Do your students now ask when it is time for The Daily Mile?
  • Have you noticed a difference in class morale, focus, and attention?
  • Have your students noticed their bodies getting stronger along with their brains?

Log how the class has improved over time using the Class Evaluation. Now that you have made The Daily Mile a habit, it will be easy to keep going!

Learn more about The Daily Mile and how you can incorporate it into your class or school today.