Lately, there has been much focus on STEM and computer science in the education world. But what about Physical Education (PE)? PE is often left out of the discussion or seen as an elective rather than a core subject. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are innumerable benefits of daily physical education for kids. Students who get the recommended amount of physical activity have stronger immune systems, better posture and body awareness, stronger bones and muscles, higher self-esteem and body image, reduced depression and anxiety, increased academic performance, improved behavior, and greater mental clarity. As adults, we know how beneficial exercise can be for our health. But it’s even more critical for kids. The sooner you can get your child active regularly—whether through after-school programs or morning fitness classes—the better off they will be.
Benefits of Daily Physical Education for Kids
Many children around the world are facing obesity and several other health issues due to the sedentary lifestyles that they lead. Even though the kids may have access to computer games and the internet, they still need to do some physical activity daily because regular physical activity integrated into school routines can have substantial health benefits for kids.
Six benefits of active lifestyle
PE has long been considered an elective subject and has not been prioritized in schools. In fact, PE has remained one of the most undervalued subjects in school for decades. In the ’90s, PE was considered so unimportant that policymakers didn’t include it in the No Child Left Behind Act or the Every Student Succeeds Act. But PE isn’t just important for kids’ health. It significantly impacts academic performance, creativity, and social skills. Studies have shown that kids who get more physical activity are more focused in the classroom, have better problem-solving skills, and are more likely to succeed. Below are six major benefits of an active lifestyle in physical education.
Physical activity can help with brain development
Physical activity has a considerable impact on the development of a child’s brain. It can help grow new neurons and connections in the brain, especially in emotions and social skills. Approximately 87% of teachers have reported that PE positively impacted their students’ social skills. Exercising at school also helps with memory and cognition. Kids who get plenty of PE daily also have better memories and can think more clearly. Physical activity can also impact a child’s behavior. Sometimes, it can have a calming effect and help kids prone to hyperactivity and impulsive behavior calm down. On the other hand, it can also help kids more inclined towards aggression or anger express themselves more flexibly.
Daily PE can help kids develop strong muscles
Even though PE is a sport-free subject and focuses on physical fitness rather than building skills, it still teaches kids how to manage their bodies and how to control their muscles. Playing sports and getting plenty of physical activity can also help kids build strength, which will be useful as they age. It can help prevent injuries and make kids feel more confident. Exercising is also essential for kids still growing and developing because it can help them build muscles, strengthen bones and joints, and improve their posture.
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Exercising is good for mental health & wellbeing
Exercising can help build stronger mental resilience and make children less susceptible to stress. It also helps kids manage their emotions better, which can be particularly important for children experiencing mental health issues. Physical activity can also help kids sleep better at night. It can help calm the mind and body, making it easier to fall asleep. Exercising can also help kids keep their focus and concentrate better. Studies have shown that kids who get the recommended amount of exercise have more substantial attention spans. Exercising can even help boost creativity. It can help open the mind and make it easier to think creatively.
Physical activity supports growth & development
The sooner you get kids exercising regularly, the better off they will eventually be. Exercising regularly can make it easier for kids to grow taller and increase their bone density. It can also help reduce their likelihood of developing diseases like heart disease and diabetes later in life. Physical activity can boost a child’s immune system, make them less susceptible to illnesses, and help them recover from infections more quickly. Exercising can also reduce a child’s risk of developing certain cancers, like breast and colorectal cancer. Regular exercise has also been shown to reduce children’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
PE improves academic performance
New research shows that daily physical education for children leads to improved academic performance in high school and college. The study, published in Frontiers in Psychology, is based on findings from 23 studies conducted in the United States, Europe, and Asia, between 1934 and 2011. The results showed that children who participated in physical education each day for 10 to 13 years had “significantly higher” final grades than their counterparts who had PE less often – benefits of an active lifestyle. Regular daily PE helps kids stay healthy and allows them to concentrate in the classroom, understand their lessons better, and perform better academically.
Overall, PE is a crucial subject that doesn’t get the respect it deserves. It’s essential for kids’ health and well-being, but it can also help them academically and socially. Kids who exercise regularly are less likely to get sick, are more physically and mentally alert, and are less likely to develop certain diseases. They also feel more confident and are better able to manage their emotions. Students who get plenty of PE are less likely to develop poor health habits as adults and have a better chance of leading more productive and successful lives. In short, daily PE is essential. A PE program in schools isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessary part of our children’s education.