Building Better Bodies and Brains with Martha Swirzinski, M.A

 

What is the one thing you can do for yourself and your child that will have the biggest impact on your body and brain? If you said exercise, you were right. We all know that getting your body moving is great for your health but did you know it is just as important for good brain health. That’s right, when you and your child get up and moving it actually helps increase learning.

Advances in brain research show that most of the brain is activated during physical activity. Eric Jensen, author of Brain Based Learning and Teaching, tells us that after 10 minutes of sitting our brain starts to shut down. The learner gets sleepy and learning declines. So what is one to do? Yep, that’s right get your body moving. Moving “increases blood vessels that allow for the delivery of oxygen, water, and glucose (“brain food”) to the brain” (Pica, Rae)

A few facts to ponder:

• “Aerobic exercise just twice a week halves your risk of general dementia. It cuts your risk of Alzheimer’s by 60 percent.” (Medina John)’

• “Being active grows new brain cells.

• Balance improves reading capacity.

• Movement can help reinforce academic skills for all students.

• Play can increase attention.” (Blaydes, Jean)

So, bottom line, make sure you and your children are active every day. It doesn’t have to be torture, make it fun. For a list of fun ways to incorporate movement into your everyday life with your children go to http://www.wholechildpublishing.com

An interview with Martha Swirzinski, M.A.

You’ve written a series of books tell me about the title of the series and what that means to readers?

The title Movement and More suggests that within the pages of the books we offer not just fantastic rhymes and great pictures but moving, interacting, thinking and socializing. Our books engage the whole child, all of the domains of child development.

You mention “our” books. Who is the other author?

I co-wrote these with Dr. Anita Tieman, a psychologist, who has spent many years working with children. She brings her expertise into the social and emotional aspect of these books.

You have three books. Leap…Laugh…Plop, Guess…Giggle…Wiggle and Kick… Catch…Buzzz. Can you tell me a bit about them?
These three books offer the ultimate mind/body connection. When children move both their bodies and minds are strengthened. Using entertaining rhymes and charming pictures, these fun and creative books offer multiple ways for your child to move. They also provide mind stimulating activities on each page. Each book brings the joy of movement together with the joy of reading. The pages of these books are filled with laughter, learning, movement and more.
 
More specifically: Leap…Laugh…Plop works on all of the locomotor skills
Guess…Giggle…Wiggle… has the children doing creative movement
Kick…Catch…Buzzzz.. addresses the manipulative skills

Will there be any more in the series?
Yes, as a matter of fact we are working on the fourth now, which will be specifically on the non locomotor skills.
How did you come up with this idea for a series of books?
I teach in a preschool
and have my Master’s degree in Kinesiology, so I’ve been involved with children and movement for over 15 years now. I wanted to come up with a way that parents, and teachers could incorporate the specific movement skills necessary for motor and brain development in an easy and fun way. Doing an activity isn’t always easy. Sometimes space, equipment or time may not be available. However, reading a book is fun, easy and doesn’t require much planning.
Where can readers find your books?
 
Thanks for visiting Martha! These books sound like a great way to teach kids to move!  Please visit the next stops on the Virtual Book Tour:
March 23rd Jenny Turner is featuring Elysabeth Eldering
March 24th Jennifer Wylie is featuring Maggie Ball

 



11 Comments

  1. Oh, Martha. I love visiting you and absorbing your energy!Best,Carolyn Howard-JohnsonBlogging writers resources at Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites pick http://www.sharingwithwriters.blogspot.com

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  2. Did you get my last post? Best,Carolyn Howard-JohnsonBlogging writers resources at Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites pick http://www.sharingwithwriters.blogspot.com

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  3. Exercise is so important. Great post. I hope all parents are thinking about what it means for their children and for them!

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  4. You're so right about the mind-body connection Martha. Your books are such a good way to promote that and starting early can help children grow up body aware and treating exercise as a natural, normal part of their daily routines (just like eating).

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  5. Martha says:

    Jennifer,Thanks for having me today.

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  6. Thanks for visiting Martha:) You definitely gave us something to think about 🙂

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  7. Martha says:

    Thanks everyone for the kind words,Magdalena, you are so right. It really needs to be just a normal part of their day and then it becomes fun and they learn to enjoy it and its benefits.

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  8. kathy stemke says:

    I love the idea of warding off Alzheimers and creating new brain cells! Seriously, I'm in agreement 100% with the mind-body connection. Way to go, Martha.

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  9. Mari says:

    I didn't know that being active grows new brain cells. I need to get my teens more active! I think I'll use some of your books in our church nursery. We always read them a book and I think yours will be a great addition!

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  10. Karen Cioffi says:

    Martha, your books sound like theperfect combination of reading and exercise. Books that get kids moving are so important.

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  11. Heidiwriter says:

    We can probably ALL benefit from you advice, Martha!

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