Physical Education—Encourage lifelong habits!
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released its Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans to help people understand the types and amounts of physical activity that offer the most health benefits. Some of the proven benefits of enough physical activity include chronic disease prevention, healthy weight management, stronger bones and joints, stress relief, and improved mental health.
The guidelines recommend that children of all ages be active every day. Preschool children ages 3-5 need to engage in active play throughout the day. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to see that children get at least 3 hours of active play time and limited screen time every day. School children and adolescents need 60 minutes or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each day to achieve overall health and wellness.
Quality physical education and activity programs foster the skills and confidence in students to ensure they form these healthy lifelong habits. Both physical education and physical activity programs are critical for schools and communities to address health equity for students and families. ETR fully supports the CDC recommendation that schools adopt a Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP) to support meeting students’ needs. A CSPAP is a multi-component approach, a framework for reaching students via physical education, before- and after-school physical activities, during-the-day physical activity, family/community involvement in physical activities, and staff wellness.
Physical activity benefits everybody
As early as the fifth century BC, physicians in ancient Greece knew that eating well and exercising led to good health. Being physically fit helps a person meet the physical demands of daily life and have energy left over to enjoy other activities. There’s also a strong link between fitness and mental well-being. Studies show that people who are physically fit are less tired and handle stress better.
Physical activity can be seen on a spectrum. A sedentary (or inactive) lifestyle lies at one end of the spectrum and the high-level training of an elite athlete is at the other. Most people fall somewhere in between these two extremes. Even moderate activity is good for health, and it’s good for nearly everyone to engage in regular physical activity.
People get the most benefits when they are physically active every day, or nearly every day, through play, games, sports, work, travel or planned exercise. Once people find activities they enjoy doing, they generally enjoy exercising because it’s fun, is a good way to spend time with friends, and helps them feel good and look better.