Exercise Cartoon Pic

If you’ve attended (or facilitated) an Emergenetics workshop lately, you probably kicked off the day with some Brain Gym® activities. Nothing like some good ‘ole cross crawls to get the heart pumping and the mind going first thing in the morning! All Emergenetics Associates are trained to incorporate Brain Gym into their workshops to help with participant engagement and they aid the knowledge gain and knowledge retention process.

Brain Gym® movements, exercises, or activities refer to the original 26 Brain Gym movements. The twenty-six activities, along with a program for “learning through movement” were developed by educator and reading specialist Paul E. Dennison and his wife and colleague, Gail E. Dennison. The 26 activities are designed to activate both hemispheres of the brain and boost brain activity. These activities help participants to stay alert, understand what they read and hear, and can lead to optimal learning and knowledge gain and retention.

Any exercise is good for your brain, but activities that involve arm and leg crossovers force the left and right hemispheres of the brain to communicate better. Let’s take a look at three of the popular Brain Gym® activities we use at Emergenetics and why we do them:

The Cross Crawl
How to do it: With your right hand, touch your left ankle. Now with your left hand, touch your right ankle. This is most effective done standing up, but it works sitting down too.

Why we do it: The Cross Crawl activates both hemispheres of the brain simultaneously and engaged the brain for coordinating visual, auditory and kinesthetic abilities. It also clears up the potassium and sodium that builds up in your brain helping you to concentrate and comprehend more and aids in the knowledge gain process.

Lazy Eights
How to do it: Sometimes called Crazy Eights, this exercise is done by extending one arm straight out in front of you, with thumb pointing towards the ceiling. Using your thumb, draw wide, horizontal eights in the air. Without moving your head, follow your thumb with your eyes. Make the eights as big as your peripheral vision will allow.

Why we do it: Lazy Eights also help integrate the right and left hemispheres of the brain. It may also improve balance and coordination.

The Thinking Cap
How to do it: Using your fingers, gently unroll the curved parts of your ears and massage the outer ridge of your ear. Repeat two to three times.

Why we do it: Stimulating this part of your ears helps to tune out distracting noises. This also helps you focus on music or spoken language, increasing listening ability, short-term memory and abstract thinking skills.

We want to hear from you! What’s your favorite Brain Gym activity? How has it helped with increased knowledge gain and retention? Tell us (and share your pictures!) on Twitter or Facebook #EGBrainGym

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