Children’s Fitness

I know there are some of you who remember when you used to take physical education classes back when you were in school. In fact, some of you probably even hated to go to P.E. If you were like the ones who hated the class, then it’s a possibility you were not a natural athlete. Your memories of the pain may have came back a little. However, this could have been one of the reasons why some may have gotten discouraged from exercising later on in life.

Around October 13, 2005, there was a article from the New York Times called ‘Putting the Gym back in Gym Class’. Now this article examines and explores the problems some P.E professionals have come up against in regards to keeping kids active and healthy.  Re-evaluations of schools PE programs in recent years are meant sharpen curtailment of the schools’ physical education programs.

It would be great to see a P.E. class include some PE programs that will teach some kind of useful knowledge so children could really get through life using their bodies in which nature has intended. They would look back at their PE class experiences and with gratitude and fondness. These days it shows how some may have serious ‘mis-maps’ of our own body which can cause us to move in many ways that just reinforce those incorrect ideas.

It is extremely important for children (as well as adults) to engage in regular fitness activities.  Kids follow adults’ examples, and if you don;’t want your kid to be a couch potato, you, too, have to make an effort.

The ineffectiveness of PE classes has been called out as a justification for cutting the program, but many claim it is not the class itself, but the focus of PE that is failing our children.  Anne Flannery, president of PE4Life, a PE advocacy group, pointed out, “In the game dodge ball it’s the very child that needs the exercise the most (who’s picked off first). In a game of soccer probably 4 or 5 of the most athletic children touched the ball, and everyone else just stands there”.

I actually remember my own experience back in PE when I had thought if I kept a low profile, I could participate as little as possible. I still got by with about a B, no less than a C, and I knew some kids who would actually disappear after a few rounds of a game into a very shallow ditch behind a row of hedges, and out of the teacher’s sight. Many probably wanted to get hit on purpose in the game of dodge ball just to get out of the game early. It’s actually a shame that you can do so much stuff to get out of the things that are designed for you to stay physical, and still receive a passing grade.

Now, looking back at my physical education class, I would take back being so lazy. Children’s fitness habits are important and should be taken seriously.

However, it has been said over and over again how the eating habits of a family can have some significant impacts on their children’s fitness and wellness. Therefore, it is imperative that all parents get involved and lead by example. Do things like prepare healthy meals with your kids, take regular family walks and limit fast food.  All children should be encouraged to get active by taking long walks, bike riding, or adopting a sport they are actually interested in.

Getting your child active and involve is easier than it sounds.  There are so many free and low cost classes for kids at local gyms, dance studios, and sports arenas and so many sports your child can choose to try out.  Finding something your child enjoys is the key to helping them develop a life long exercise habit to keep them happy and healthy.

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