Sunday, April 24, 2016


I created a one page survey for Mrs. Doherty’s health classes, to assess their knowledge of the exercise-brain connection.  I wanted to see what students thought the benefits of exercise are and determine what gaps they had in knowing that exercise is key to brain health and illness prevention.  Once I tallied the results, I figured out what would be most important to teach them in my final product, a power point. This will happen on May 3rd.

Here's a sneak peek at some of my findings:

Four, mixed 9th and 10th grade classes completed my survey which was a total of 69 students. 51 of those 69 reported that they exercise on a regular basis but did not come to agreement on what was “regular.” I was not surprised at the top answer to my question, “what are 3 benefits of regular exercise?”  What do YOU think they said? Staying fit, keeping healthy and maintaining weight were the most popular responses.  Only 1 student responded, exercise creates a HEALTHY BRAIN!! Hooray for you! 8 students said exercise could prevent illness and disease and only 1/69 knew exercise could prevent depression! 

Most students had no idea that exercise can cut your risk for Alzheimer’s disease as well as other dementia's by 50% and that aerobic exercise is just as effective as medication in boosting mood and easing symptoms of depression!! It is so important to know that exercise can help because depression has been linked to certain forms of dementia and 1 in 3 people
age 65 and older dies of Alzheimer’s or another dementia. They
didn't know that either.

REACHING MY AUDIENCE PART II will happen on May 3rd when I present my final product to Period 7 Health class. I will link that presentation here once it is finalized.

I feel like my work was important for me because I learned just as much as I hope the students I present to will. I found out there is a tremendous amount of information and incredible research on my topic. The challenges I faced were how to condense all my findings into a format that would be helpful and matter most to kids around my age. Fitting things in and finding time was also difficult with my schedule so I did not get a chance to present to students yet. I think I can help at least one person, and hopefully more, to realize that exercise is one of the “secret weapons” to overcoming depression and so much more. I learned that while it's never too late to start exercising, the earlier you begin and the more consistent you are, the greater your long-term rewards will be. 
I hope I helped you all learn that too.

Saturday, April 2, 2016


Drum roll...
I know you've been unable to sleep because you want to know the truth.
Thank you to the 5 people that read my sample question. You all guessed TRUE that "Exercise cuts your risk for Alzheimer's disease as well as other dementias by 25%."


The correct answer was FALSE according to John Medina, Ph.D., director of the Seattle Pacific University Brain Center for Applied Learning Research. He states "Aerobic activity slashes your lifetime risk of Alzheimer's in half and your risk of general dementia by 60 percent."

We ALL need to exercise for life, not just for a sport we play now.

  • Met with Mrs. Doherty last week to discuss my plan of action and survey (handout) ideas.
  • Next step: finish creating handout and decide which 9th grade classes will receive it and when.
Link to annotate bibliography is HERE.

Sunday, March 20, 2016


So how's everyone doing? 
                   Did you exercise today?
Maybe not since it's Sunday. I know that any Spring sport teams are working hard everyday after school. What about the rest of you?
Do you know exercise is doing more then just training you for your sport? What you do today with your body can affect your mind for years to come. Pretty cool. How much do you know about that?

For my action research, I hope to work with the health teachers, specifically Ms. Doherty to first gather information from her 9th graders about their current knowledge of the brain exercise connection. During this Spring break, I will collect survey ideas and begin writing my own.
When we get back I will make an appointment to speak with her about this project and share my idea about why this information should be part of her nutrition unit. I don't remember talking about exercise and the brain in her class last year. Do you guys? Don't you think it would be important to everybody if they learned some new cool facts that could improve their life??

So let's do a little test....Are you smarter than a neuroscientist? Here is an example of one of the questions on the survey that I am making..

Exercise cuts your risk for Alzheimer's disease as well as other dementias by 25 percent.
Leave your answer in my comment box and I will let you know if you got it right! Until next time...

Click here to find my project proposal.