What is physical education, and how important is it for children? This subject is very important to students as young as elementary school, as it prepares them to be healthy and active individuals when they grow up. Physical education, also called gym, physical education, PE, or physical exercise, in some Commonwealth states and the District of Columbia, is a course that students must take before entering kindergarten. It is intended to help children develop physically, mentally, and emotionally.
The National Strength and Conditioning Association say physical education is one of the areas that most parents and teachers underestimate. Most kids want to be big, strong, and muscular, but few realize that growing up with poor nutritional habits can lead to poor health and a diminished sense of fitness later in life. Children who participate in a fitness-based education program during the early years of life to learn important skills, develop good habits, and develop healthy behaviors. They are exposed to a variety of fitness activities and learn how to properly get along with others. Activities such as bike riding, swimming, hiking, and organized sports are common and fun ways for children to learn how to be fit.
Adults reap the benefits of physical education just as much as children do. A strong physical fitness lifestyle helps reduce the risk for high blood pressure, stroke, obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, and other health disorders. A healthy diet, adequate sleep, and regular exercise all contribute to a healthy lifestyle. A physical education program for adults offers the same benefits to those trying to lose weight, as it does to those planning for future sports or exercise. Many adult classes focus on fitness or exercise, including aerobics, yoga, dance, and martial arts. Adults who have worked out in the past or who have attended an exercise class on their own may feel more confident in their ability to participate in a fitness program.
Some school districts require teachers to participate in some physical education classes. Principals and teachers can work together to create a lesson plan that includes physical activities and exercises. The physical education teacher works closely with the physical development objective. The teacher prepares students for various tests and helps them identify their level of physical fitness. The physical education teacher will also coordinate with the parents to help them get started in a fitness program.
There are many advantages of working with a qualified and experienced physical education teacher. The physical education teacher has been taught how to develop a curriculum that encourages healthy lifestyles, develops skills, provides for physical fitness, teaches about nutrition, and works with parents and families to make sure that the child gets plenty of physical activity. The teacher works with the students to identify their level of fitness, develops fitness goals and meets them. She is responsible for maintaining a safe and reasonable fitness program in the classroom, with parents and families, and facilitates after-school activities such as after school sports and recesses.
Many public schools have their own physical education teachers. More than half of the states require public elementary and secondary schools to have adequate teachers who have been certified to teach physical education. Some states, such as South Dakota, have laws that require teachers to receive specialized training on fitness for their jobs. Certified physical education teachers can earn a higher salary and more job security than other physical education teachers.
Many people, especially children, have no idea what sport is all about. Even gym class can be dull without a little physical activity, which is where the sport class comes in. Some students skip gym class because they have no idea what sport they want to try. They may join a sports team when they have the time or see a volleyball player on the television. Physical education programs teach kids about various sports and give them a basic understanding of how the sport functions and how to perform their best.
Aside, from promoting health and wellness, physical education programs are important for preventing obesity, a leading cause of death in the US. Many school districts are working to add physical fitness programs to their curriculum and many community colleges are adding courses in fitness and nutrition to their programs. A well-rounded physical fitness program promotes healthy body composition, improves self-esteem and helps prevent illness. People that get a good education in physical fitness may one day pursue careers as personal trainers, sport scientists or nutrition experts.