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What to do with School PE?
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The debate rages. Physical education is under fire in nearly every school district in America as parents and teachers attack and defend the future of "gym class". In light of the escalating obesity epidemic, supporters of its demise, argue that it is ineffectual – often citing a curriculum of country line-dancing or dodge ball. New to the conversation are those proposing "intermittent minutes" of exercise sprinkled throughout the day. Such plans include stretching for 5 minutes during math class and jumping jacks during social studies. Public health proponents of this approach now have science to support splitting up the government's recommended 60 minutes of daily exercise. Studies show that the brain is better stimulated for learning, immediately following 5 minutes of physical exercise. This angle of debate is used to support physical education as a tool for learning and higher test scores.

 

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Lace Up for the Longrun

Posted By John W. Patton, Saturday, October 20, 2012
Everyone knows that the key to weight loss and weight-maintenance is consistency. It starts with education about healthy foods and behaviors.  Then comes motivation to start and the third and final stage is discipline to stay the course.  One of the reasons that some children are able to stay in shape and healthy is that they are active in sports.  The key in childhood sports is the presence and influence of a coach.   Practices are usually multiple times a week, for a set amount of time and improvement in skills, drills and other capabilities are measured and challenged.  Once one graduates from school - or organized sports of some kind - the ability to maintain one's weight becomes a paramount problem.  Coaches go away.  Routine practices go away.  Oversight and structure goes away.  Add to that, the skills go away.  Think about what happens with foreign languages that are given up after school requirements are met.  They are rarely retained.  The same goes for musical instruments that are not played after the requisite band rehearsals end.  This can be true for team sports.  Not only is it hard to pull together a band of 18 people to play baseball with - let alone football - the skills begin to drop off.   That is why it is critical to teach children lifelong "chronic sports" that can be played well after retirement such as tennis, golf, running and swimming.   Children do not have to make these sports their primary sports, but they should be exposed to them at a young age when their motor skills and overall athletic aptitudes are being developed. Sports such as running and tennis can be played in conjunction with other sports, very economically and without requiring a huge investment of time.  Just like society promotes lifetime learning - so we must embrace lifetime athletics.  

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What to do with School PE?

Posted By Administration, Thursday, September 27, 2012

Blog Post cont'd:  

Others in the medical and legislative fields focus their argument around the 'fat-factor' of childhood obesity.  Studies show that metabolic, fat burning exercise requires 20 minutes with an elevated heart rate.  Even current physical education classes do not deliver that regimen and thus the nation continues to loosen its belt.  If a heart-pounding, sweat-dripping gym class is not practical, then the question remains, "Should the physical be taken out of the eduction?"  In other words, is school the right place place to be physically active – or just a place to learn about it?

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