Exercise and the Brain
While we are instructing our students online, where students and academic professors may often be sitting for longer periods of time than usual, it is imperative to find the time to stay active and move throughout the day. Studies show that breaks of movement can assist with beating stress, lifting your mood, fighting memory loss, sharpening your intellect, and overall better daily function (Ratey, 2008). Even short bursts or Sparks of physical activity (3-5 minutes) can assist in priming our brains for optimal learning. More Spark activities will be added to this page each week!
Join us in these Spark activities to get your body and brain ready to learn.
Introduction to Spark activities
Multi-joint exercises that use multiple large muscle groups.
Movements to optimally elevate heart rate.
Yoga & Stretching
Static and dynamic activities to improve mind, body and mobility.
Exercises that enhance mind and muscle connection.
Positions that challenge torso stability.
Let loose and move to the music!
Creative activities disguised as exercise.
Activities for anywhere.
- Jump up and down 10 times
- Take a short walk outside/ walk your pet (if you have one)
- Hover above a chair for 30 seconds/ Wall-sit
- Take 5 deep breaths
- Hold a 45 second plank
- Scream into a pillow for at least 5 seconds (can you say stress relief?)
- Stand up and sit down 20 times
- 30 seconds of jumping jacks, rest for 30 seconds, then repeat!
- Jog or march in place for 60 seconds
- Lift a canned food item overhead 15 times
Disclaimer: Physical exercise, as depicted in these videos, is a strenuous activity. There are numerous inherent risks associated with physical exercise, including the risk of serious bodily injury or death. Before engaging in any form of exercise or an exercise program, you should consult with your physician to ensure you are in good health and the exercise or exercise program is appropriate for you. Nothing contained within these videos or this webpage should be construed as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The videos on this webpage are intended for educational use only. The use of these videos and other information on this webpage is at your own risk. The University of Florida is not liable for any claims or causes of action arising out of the use of these videos or other information on this webpage.