Get Fitter And Smarter With Brainy Moves


Physical movement improves mental focus, memory, and cognitive flexibility; new research shows just how critical it is to academic performance. - The Atlantic

We sit too much in Singapore, do you agree? We started sitting a lot right from our children's formal education in Primary One. They are made to sit at least 5 hours every school day. Recess time is short, often it has to be splitted between queuing to buy food, taking their snack (sitting down), going to washroom, and possibly staying back in class to finish up unfinished work (sitting down) or get some scolding. Playtime during recess is limited and most of the time sacrificed.

Physical Education (PE) is only 2 hours per week (in AJ's current school, it is only 1 hour per week). And, unless the child has a sports as Core Curriculum Activity (CCA), chances are, the child has really limited physical activity.

Can we blame the child for not focusing in class or not able to sit still for long? Probably not. Maybe we should look into the child's amount of time spent in physical activity instead. 

Human beings are created to move. When we remain inactivity for too long, we will start to have many problems. As an adult, we will face illness and diseases like diabetes, obesity, heart attack, hypertension, etc. If adults ain't spared from inactivity, there is no reasons why children can do better staying still too.

In fact, there have been many research concluding that physical activity leads to a better connected and sharper brain that is optimised for learning.

AJ is privileged to have joined Brainy Moves for the last 6 months, and I have the privilege to know James Tang, the founder of Brainy Moves. James was a PE cum Maths teacher but he quit his job when he discovered the link between physical activity and learning. Using this technique, he started Brainy Moves.

Here's a recent newspaper article on an interview of James (link).

Dr Zachary Walker, Head, Pedagogical Innovation, Asst. Prof Early Childhood Special Education, National Institute of Education (NIE) commented that James does three things really well.

"He follows the research which has always shown that movement is critical to learning. He relates very well to children and adults so he establishes a connection with them quickly. And he is always willing to learn more and modify his own practice for the children he works with in his centre," he tells The Sunday Times.

James will personally interview every single candidate and will only take them in when he understands their competency and personality. I witnessed that because we went through the same. He would recommend suitable class for each candidate basing on the class dynamics and the personality/competency of the child.  

AJ and Dr. Jia Jia. Jia Jia is a regular client of Brainy Moves

70 per cent of James' clients have a condition, yet he has no objections from parents of children who are neurotypical. "Parents know I have a mix of kids in my class. But I think it's a good thing to let children know from a young age that there are different people out there. They need to learn to accept differences; they should accept differences."

In fact, research has shown that children with ADHD benefit a lot from structured exercise, especially their Maths and reading test scores, besides reducing their ADHD symptoms.

For review purposes, James allowed me to observe a class that AJ was in. Not only did I observe, I had the chance to participate in what they have done and had a first hand experience how it was like, so that I am able to share with you my experience.

I fast forward this video to save time

This was just one of the lessons they did, every week the children will do different activities. What the children did in this lesson, I did the same for only one round. But, what I had observed as a spectator sitting in one corner changed completely when I started to participate in the activities. When I was sitting there at one corner, I thought to myself, how difficult could that be? However, once I was on the floor, I immediately regretted that I had judged too quickly.

When we move, things happen in our brain that help us to learn better. While I was clumsy in the first few parts of the set of exercise, I gradually became more efficient and productive. My thought process became more well-connected as my brain figured out by itself the best way my body should move to perform each task properly.

In fact, research has shown that 2 elements are most effective in boosting the brain for learning – novelty exercise and complex exercise. Brainy Moves programme is designed to incorporate a comprehensive series of fun exercises that are both novel and complex, and uses different movements to target, stimulate and boost different parts of the brain. Brainy Moves is designed to increase neurogenesis (creation of new brain cells), enhance neuroplasticity (improve and strengthen neural pathways) and regulate neurotransmitters (neurochemicals that regulate alertness, attention and more).

With a better connected and sharper brain that is optimized for learning, Brainy Moves students have shown significant improvements in several areas:

  • more focused and motivated
  • stronger higher order thinking and analytical skills
  • improved reading and comprehension
  • improved memory and language learning
  • better learning abilities (efficient learning skills)
  • better health
  • improved attention control and behaviour
  • better mood and happier disposition
  • enhanced multi-tasking abilities
  • better academic results

You may also like to know, Brainy Moves program is endorsed by Dr. John J. Ratey, an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. John Ratey is a world renowned expert and he is also the author of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain.

“Brainy Moves is a well-thought out and powerful program that leads to a better behaved, better organised and better performing child.”  - Dr. John Ratey

AJ has enjoyed the classes at Brainy Moves. We saw the good works by James and his team this half a year. We strongly recommend Brainy Moves to you if you have children with special needs or if they are dealing with difficulties coping in school. Brainy Moves will be able to complement any therapies you may have.  

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