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Teachers may question the importance of physical education into the curriculum because they do not feel comfortable while teaching it in elementary school. However, physical education is part and parcel of a student education. There are numerous benefits of physical education. Firstly, physical education is important in that, it develops co-operation skills, as well as good sportsmanship. These skills are important in the life of the students since they are able to carry it into adulthood. It provides a good exercise, which is healthy for obese children.
Physical education develops a number of qualities, for example, motor skills, mental alertness, enhance concentration in class, in addition to improving classroom behavior. Physical education programs that are of high quality help many students to eventually succeed in life. It ensures that children have a chance to live a healthy life, and be more productive. With the current problem of childhood obesity in the United States, this is the way to go (Victor & Pangrazi, 127-130).
The current lifestyle allows many youngsters to spend a lot of time indoors watching television or playing video games. Hardly do they have time to play outside. It is logic, that physical education will come in handy to reverse this lifestyle. Moreover, the dietary choices of many Americans are of no use to their bodies. Most are addicted to the fast-food culture. These fast foods do not, in any way, provide the necessary healthy nutrition essential for the growth of many children. The high sugar and fatty contents contribute to the high rates of diabetes and heart disease. Things get worse when the calories gained, as a result of these foods, are not burnt. There are no chances for children to even walk, since they are being driven to and from work.
It is the availability of quality physical and health education programs that can change all these. The programs offer students an opportunity to develop their minds and bodies. By doing all this, children will end up succeeding both physically and academically. Programs that are excellent will provide the necessary discipline and structure for young people to perform effectively in the school curriculum. They are also able to make important choices, have perseverance, and also learn to respect their peers.
These are all examples of how healthy physical education affects, in and out of, academic circles. A healthy physical education program is supposed to give challenging and achievable goals. It should also include every student in all the sessions. Students in elementary school can learn to build basic skills like hopping and skipping. This will go a long way in developing their motor skills. Those in middle school can learn to apply sport skills in addition to sports strategies that are basic. On their part, high school children can start focusing on team-building, as well as, more developed sport strategy.
It is important that all programs incorporate cross-curricular activities that will help them in classroom subjects, for example, math or physics. Moreover, there are also psychological benefits included on the list of physical ones. The programs can go a long way in improving self-image, self-confidence, and promote health. It is a fact that, movement promotes the development of brain cells and then stimulates endorphins production. Endorphins are body chemicals, which aid in the creation of calmness, happiness, in addition to relieving stress and pain. A student who is not active will always feel under-stimulated and lethargic.
Most gym classes nowadays are about motion (Hackensmith, 30). Students are emphasized to focus on fitness activities that last for a life, for example, dancing and walking. The students should be able to live healthy, make positive choices in life, which will enable them enjoy their whole lives into old age. Physical fitness should be treated as a discipline, in that students can get to choose their own path in life. However, teachers should be there to avail them with information and experiences that will help them decide wisely. The students should feel empowered and believe that they can make a difference in their lives. They should feel it is the right thing to give back to the community and assist other in improving the world. Moreover, the students should also love to do a lot of activities, as well as, develop a culture of living a healthy and long life. Despite all these, there are serious obstacles that hinder the implementation process of physical fitness. There is a lot of competition that face fitness activities. However, it is important that children have role models in fitness. With all these achievements, there will be an improvement in health, the cost of health care will go down, and the children will eventually live long.
On the other hand, there are some who feel that physical education programs are expensive. This is the reason why, in times of economic difficulty, the programs are overlooked and put aside. However, this cannot be the way forward; these programs should continue to remain a priority in the school curriculum. Physical fitness is important in that, it helps in the facilitation of student responsibility for their fitness and health. It should also be noted that, it can be an influence in moral judgment. Students have the chance to cooperate with others, assume their roles in leadership, and accept responsibility for their actions, and also question regulations and actions. These activities help children to socialize amongst themselves, in addition to learning positive people skills. This is so, especially during adolescence when they participate in games, sports and dances.
Physical education is very important because children must have a body, spirit and mind that is healthy. Physical health extends to having a flexible, coordinated and strong body. A lot of people ask what role physical education plays in the lives of children. It is vital to understand that it plays an overall role in the well-being of a child. Physical education is part of the school curriculum which incorporates training in caring and development of the human body. It is all about the sharpening of motor skills and overall cognitive abilities. This is done through exercise, athletics, martial arts or dance. The fact that students can participate in team sports means the children can develop team spirit amongst themselves. This is so because they have to participate as a team and learn to organize themselves, as well as, function as a group. So, participating in team sports instills the feeling of team spirit, which in the long run, adds value to the personality of an individual.
It is also important to note that, physical education incorporates lessons touching on the importance associated with personal hygiene and cleanliness. These classes will go a long way in helping the students understand the important hygiene practices that help in maintaining healthy bodies. Moreover, the classes have an aspect that touches on the experiences of puberty. They incorporate sex-education which touches on various topics dealing with the subject of sexuality.
The list is endless for the benefits of physical education. It is an avenue for recognizing those children with talents in the world of sports. These classes give budding sportsmen and women an opportunity to explore and experiment areas in sports that may interest them. They will then have an opportunity to participate in various competitions and tournaments. This is important because it exposes them to the competitive world of sports. A minimum standard for elementary classes of 150 minutes in week is recommended and 225 minutes per week for middle schools. It should also be required that a successful completion of physical education be incorporated before high school graduation. Schools should come up with standards, which reflect national, as well as state standards. It is important that physical education be taught by physical education teachers who are certified.
It is encouraging to note that physical education have developed, and now incorporates a wider variety of activities. Students can be introduced to lifetime activities like hiking, bowling, or Frisbee at an early age. This will go a long way in helping the students develop habits that they can carry over into adulthood. Some teachers have also incorporated other techniques that help reduce stress, for example, yoga and deep-breathing. Sports that are non-traditional can also be taught to students, which will provide motivation for them to increase their activity. It can also help the students to learn about different cultures. Physical Education teachers can incorporate nutrition lessons and short health lessons into the curriculum. This is important with the recent outbreaks of deadly diseases like swine flu. There are numerous Universities and colleges that offer Physical Education and Health under one certification. These lessons of Health education should also include those touching on self esteem, bullying, as well as stress and anger management.
The Physical education curriculum in the United States allows pupils to engage in various modern opportunities. There are some martial arts in the United States, and Pencak Silat in Malaysia, France and Indonesia (Deobold & Bennett, 57-60). They are being taught to teach children for the purposes of self-defense. The curriculum is also designed to allow students exposure themselves to activities such as gymnastics, aquatics, dance, conditioning activities, individual or dual sports, rhythms and team sports. With all these opportunities, students are encouraged to go on exploring these activities. In other countries such as Singapore, pupils are given two hours of Physical education every school week, except when the exams take off. Pupils can play football, badminton, and basketball during these sessions. Occasionally, unorthodox sports like fencing and skateboarding can be played. There is a compulsory fitness exam conducted in each school once a year, which assess the physical fitness of students. In Scotland, pupils are given two periods of Physical fitness in the first year, one in the second, and two in third as well as fourth year. However, in fifth and year, it is voluntary.
In conclusion, it should be noted that physical education provides students with opportunities to exercise during the day. It gives them an early exposure to team sports, in addition to promoting healthy physical fitness. These children end up getting a workout, and learn the benefits associated with exercise as a lifelong habit (Victor & Robert, 120). Moreover, physical education is an important course in schools, with many benefits attached. It helps kids to learn healthy habits, as well as stay off drugs. It also increases learning activities by getting the blood to flow, increase the oxygen levels, which in the end promotes concentration in class and other activities. It is imperative then that, despite the budget cuts, physical education should remain protected in schools.
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