Physical education was primarily about the physical, playing basketball or football, with not much on the education side. Athletic kids would dominate, and many of the rest would stand around and watch. The kids who most needed physical education got the least out of it.
Times have changed. Nowadays, physical education plays a vital role in the students’ development and growth. According to recent medical studies, the physical well being of a student is directly related to his or her development in class. It’s only in physical educational classrooms that students learn the value of taking care of themselves through healthy eating, exercise knowledge, successful academics, high self-confidence, good sportsmanship, and a positive lifestyle.
In today’s world, several health problems -- like obesity, anorexia, bulimia, and even diabetes -- are present among teenagers. Through physical education, teachers can promote the benefits of healthy and nutritious food and discourage them from having junk food by highlighting their ill effects. The educators can easily promote healthy eating practices and guidelines for nutrition.
Physical education in school is becoming a preventive measure to teach students the value of regular exercise.
Physical education develops the students’ creativity skills and hand-eye coordination. This is a result of performing activities like pushups, jumping jacks, three minute running and other exercises. Programs usually have core training exercises also like abdominal crunches. This helps children maintain a healthy body and teaches them the importance of regular fitness activity in a daily routine, which keeps them happy and energized. It, too, helps children maintain their fitness, develop their muscular strength and increase their stamina.
Apart from health and knowledge benefits that students obtain from physical education, they learn how to unwind and relieve themselves of stress and anxiety. Physical health allows students to function even better in classrooms.
Sports and other physical fitness activities offered in physical education classes are a welcome break for students. Being active lets nutrients circulate throughout the body, which includes the brain. This circulation provides longer concentration and absorption in class.
Research has proved that children, who actively participate in team sports or individual sports, have high self-confidence, which is very important for the development of a person’s character. Students who are active in physical activities like basketball, volleyball, martial arts and running are more confident with themselves according to most studies. This is most likely because of the self-discipline and dedication that students must have to excel in a sport that brings out the best in them. Physical education instills the desire to participate, enjoy victory and take defeat positively, developing the overall personality of the character.
By making children participate in sports, especially team sports, physical education also gives them a sense of team spirit. Children learn how to work as a team member, organize themselves and function together toward attaining a goal. This improves a child’s overall communications skills and the ability to get along with people of differing origins and cultures. It exposes the competitive side of students working body and mind and also promotes sportsmanship.
The purpose of physical education is to instill in students the value of self-preservation and choosing a lifestyle that is good for the mind and body. Children, who learn the importance of health and hygiene in their early ages, are more likely to grow up to be responsible and healthy adults who are well aware of the benefits of a positive lifestyle.
In most schools, physical education is required. Apart from maintaining physical fitness, it includes training in the care and development of the human body. It helps a person sharpen abilities and skills through athletics, exercise and various other physical activities. Seeing its benefits for the body and its effect on life, the importance of physical education can’t be ignored.
Jacqueline Alman is a sophomore at Scheck Hillel Community School in North Miami Beach.