NOTE: This was written by Vendy Adams and edited by Orion Estevez.
One of the mixed martial artists currently signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship is a physical education teacher. He is Mark “Mugen” Streigl of the Philippines.
Like all scientists, I disagree with the argument that physical education is useless. However, what needs to be emphasized is that physical education is useless if not taught right
If the educator is well-informed and he or she can keep the class attentive, physical education plays an essential role in students’ overall health education. After all, students cannot focus on studying other subjects if they are not healthy.
Research has long shown the importance of physical activities on a student’s health. Taking part in classes that promote health education can be nothing but beneficial for the student while avoiding to take part in such classes could be detrimental to the student’s comprehensive education plan.
While focusing on school assignments is highly appreciated, students must learn to engage in physical activities as well. A proper diet along with proper workouts keeps us up and running.
Our quality of life is determined by how much exercise we do and how frequently. Here are reasons why physical education is important in school and why we should never consider banning it:
1. Physical activity improves focus.
The more active we become, the more dopamine gets released into our system. Research has shown that dopamine plays a significant role in students’ attention span and since the focus is maintained via the basal ganglia, students who engage in physical activity are more likely to pay more attention in school.
Today, there are many distractions that influence our ability to focus on the work at hand. Technology plays a significant role in this process.
Students have access to laptops, smartphones, tablets and other devices that could take away their focus. By involving them in physical activities, professors can keep them attentive but also receptive to the schoolwork.
2. Healthy development is based on a healthy lifestyle.
Depending on what seeds you plant, that’s what you’ll grow. It is therefore important to plant healthy seeds in kids’ minds to grow healthy, intelligent individuals. If they are taught that physical education is not as important, they can be easily tricked into thinking that health is not a priority. In reality, the opposite is true. Health is the number one priority and should be treated as such. Cultivating an appreciation for physical activity from an early age is therefore beneficial for the long-term development of the student.
Moreover, physical activity can also keep students energetic throughout the day and boost their serotonin levels. It can help their muscles grow faster and stronger. Activities such as bike-riding, push-ups or tree-climbing can be perfect for kids.
3. Getting enough rest is essential.
If students do not get enough sleep, chances are they will soon stop functioning. Physical activities keep students in shape and prevent sleep deprivation.
If you are involved in physical activity throughout the day, you will be more prone to get a good night’s sleep. On the other hand, if students do not get enough sleep, they could easily de-focus and give a hard time for both teachers and parents.
4. Stress and anxiety become a thing of the past.
Not only is physical activity good for the body, it is also beneficial for the brain and emotions can be processed faster and more accurately when kids are engaging in physical activities. Depression and anxiety have been treated this way in the past, so physical activity is essential for treating such symptoms.
Stress can easily get to students, especially during exam weeks so physical activity provides the perfect tools to release this accumulated stress. When you ae stressed, you are no longer able to focus on the task at hand and might fail exams not respect deadlines and disregard other relevant tasks.
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5. We all strive for happiness.
As we all want to be happier, so do students. Thus, taking physical education out of their curriculum would do more harm than good.
Students would not feel as connected to their bodies anymore. They would get sick more easily and they would not be as focused in school anymore.
Moreover, students’ blood would not circulate as fast within their bodies while their attention span would decrease and their bodies would not maintain a regular weight anymore. They might stretch less, become less flexible and engage in fewer extra-curricular activities.
We all want a happy life so we should not deprive students of it. Physical education should never be taken out of the curriculum.
Exercise is an important factor in helping kids develop healthily. Physical activities are important for students as it helps them learn more about health education so let us keep students active and happy by keeping them engaged in these activities.
Vendy Adams is a school psychologist and part-time essay writer. His research topics include students’ education, physical health and anatomy. She likes to climb mountains and mountain bike in his free time.