Physical Education in Our Schools

Physical Education is a vital part of our public education system. It is a key to improving a child’s confidence, brainpower and long-term health. One of the major goals of physical education is to prepare students to be active and healthy for a lifetime. Physical education should be an integral part of the total education of every child in Kindergarten through Grade 12.

Recognizing the importance of physical education at a young age promotes healthy habits throughout life. As modern life becomes more sedentary and specialized, particularly for those who live in cities, the importance of physical education increases. It is important that children understand the importance of Physical Education and good health in their lifestyle. Schools should also recognize the importance of physical education.

One significant area of concern is the decrease in the physical activity of youth and of physical education in schools. The need for more physical education in schools is increasingly obvious to parents and healthcare professionals as well as professional educators. This is a great first step in elevating the role of physical education in schools.

Teaching physical education and play are as crucial to a child’s development as any academic endeavor. Teaching physical education majors study the effects of physical activity on the body and mind, especially in the development of young people.

Physical education is a supremely important component of a child’s development. Physical Education is an important aspect of a total education. Again one of the major goals of physical education is to prepare students to be active and healthy for a lifetime. Physical education is key to improving a child’s confidence, brainpower and long-term health. The aim of physical education is to establish a culture of health and fitness, which is for the benefit of society. Quality physical education should be provided to all students as an integral part of K-12 education.

School-Based Physical Education – Five-Step Leadership Program

“Take care of our children and show them the way.”

We live in a culture of sedentary living and overeating. Our children are watching, listening and learning about life and how to live from us adults, their leaders. They are not interested in what we have to say. They are carefully watching how we live.

Schools, parents and local, state and federal governments all have a leadership role when it comes to educating our children and keeping them physically fit. What kind of message are they sending our kids?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), twenty percent of our children ages 6-17 are overweight. In 1980, only 6 percent of our children were overweight. Our children are now being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes was once considered a disease for adults.

In a local newspaper, I read a dismal report. Physical education, music and art are being eliminated from our schools because there is no money to pay for them. The budgets have been slashed and teachers are being let go. This trend has been going on sometime now. Funding for our education system is not expected to increase.

Are we really talking about money and jobs? The primary mission of our school system is to educate our children. Physical education, art and music are just as essential for growth and development of our children as reading, writing and math.

The CDC has determined there is a causal connection between academic performance and school-based physical activity, according to the report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, April 2010, The Association Between School-Based Physical Activity, Including Physical Education, and Academic Performance. These findings combined with the state of health of our children make it imperative to find a way to – with or without additional funding or teaching jobs – to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day back into our schools. We will apply the lead-by-example approach and show our kids how important physical activity is.

If the schools do not have the funds to hire additional teachers to implement physical activity of 60 minutes per day, a volunteer corps of certified personal trainers needs to be established to institute the physical activity program. No child should be left behind when it comes to health and academic performance.

Cut through all the planning committees and trial periods, and take the program out of the bureaucracy and put it to work. There has been enough planning and enough programs readily available. See the federal programs President’s Challenge at http://www.presidentschallenge.org.

Here is a highly effective five-step program to achieve and maintain school-based health and fitness of our children and those who are their leaders.

Step 1: Find-a-way Mindset

Step 2: Assess

Step 3: Train

Step 4: Sustain

Step 5: Again

Step 1: Find-a-way Mindset

Parents, teachers, administrators, school boards as well as local, state and federal governments must maintain a find-a-way mindset to implement 60 minutes of school-based physical activity at least five days per week. The vision, mission and core values of our public schools are student focused. The vision is to provide the highest quality education for all students. We, as the leaders and role models, of our children are accountable and responsible for the development and education of our children. The CDC findings of a correlation between school-based physical activities and academic performance make it imperative to eliminate all excuses for not finding a way to institute this fitness program in all our schools.

Step 2: Assess

All teachers and school administrators are to set the example by taking a fitness test to determine what the true state of their wellness really is. Then, they are to do the same with the help of all those decision makers to establish one hour of daily school-based physical activities for the children and themselves. The program will begin with a physical fitness test of every child to determine the status of fitness. Establish goals for every child based on the fitness test results and other relevant input.

Step 3: Train

School staff and children will train for the next fitness test approximately eight weeks from the first one. Training will be activities based and not academic. Any academics are to be shouted out on the ball field during all other physical activities. We are to put the physical back into physical education and keep it there.

Step 4: Sustain

It’s not enough to start a physical fitness program. The program needs to be ongoing. Fitness testing should be every three to six months after initial introduction of the program.

Step 5: Again

Do it again. Again emphasizes a repeat of the previous steps of assess, train and sustain. The program never ends. It is indefinite and physical activity is maintained. School-based physical activity of at least 60 minutes daily is now well established.

Everything we say, do and do not do has an impact on how we live as well as how our children live. Waves of influence have been pouring out to lead a sedentary lifestyle and overeat along with other unhealthy behaviors. It’s time to turn this trend around and change our culture from a sedentary one to one that is activities-based and healthy. We owe it to our children. We are their leaders and role models. Take care of our children and show them the way.

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The author of this article is Lt. Col. Bob Weinstein, USAR-Ret., boot camp fitness instructor and personal trainer.

Benefits of Engaging in Physical Education and Sport Activities

Engaging in natural health remedies such as physical education and sport activites are encouraged by health and nutrition experts today. The increasing number of health risks and conditions that are experienced by most people today, young or old, create concern about the impact of lifestyle and diet factors to increasing those risk factors. If you wanted to adapt a change in lifestyle, make sure to learn how you can incorporate those activities in your daily life and experience their benefits.

What is Physical Education?

Physical education is a form of instruction that focus on promoting activities that involve physical development and enhance an individual’s overall well being. This is one reason why physical education is an integral part in a school’s curriculum, especially for grade school to high school students. This is the time wherein the physical body is undergoing development and engaging in activities such as dance, sports, gymnastics, and calisthenics, among other PE classes are highly encouraged.

Aside from those physical activities, games can also become part of physical education and sport classes. The idea is to stimulate play behavior to develop physical fitness and skills. Although physical education has been largely associated with the modern society, it actually has a long history that dates back to the times of ancient Greece.

Teaching Physical Education

The ability for children to benefit from physical education and sport classes depend largely on the teaching methods employed. This is why PE teachers need a certain level of qualification before they are allowed to teach this subject. A baccalaureate degree is the most basic requirement for PE teachers and some could even have concentration studies in the area of human behavior and biology.

Aside from teaching physical education and sport in schools, there is also a large demand for PE instructors in other sectors. This is partly due to the recent surge in health and fitness awareness with the need to stay active being considered as one of the healthy yet natural alternatives to combating common diseases and health risks.

Sport Activities

Although sports is viewed today as a competitive activity, it can also be practiced for leisure and fitness purposes. There are various level of sports activities that one can engage in such as amateur, leisure, and professional sports.

Sports classes are also held in schools to encourage students to participate actively for physical stimulation. After all, sports is not only fun and competitive, but it also teaches one the importance of taking care of your body and well being in terms of physical self-discipline. There are several sports activities that one can choose from such that it is easier to commit yourself into this activity, depending on what you enjoy doing most. Some of the most popular sports today include basketball, football, soccer, volleyball, tennis, swimming, to name a few.

Benefits

To encourage your kids to engage in physical education and sport activities, here are some of the rewards for doing so:

• Depending on the type of sport, it can encourage social behaviors and improve one’s ability to work with a team.

• It boosts your endurance and fitness level such that you stay healthier for longer.

• It teaches one self-discipline to adapt a healthy lifestyle and take good care of one’s body.

• It promotes physical development and acquire essential physical skills.