>> Friday, September 11, 2009
Yes, I said it. You can't tell by looking at me, but I'm actually a big advocate for physical education. I believe in how important it is; I wish I was better in practicing this particular form of education.
Well, without any physical activity, your health is at a big disadvantage. Sitting in front of a computer screen is a good way to turn to fat, reduce cardio-vascular capability, muscle tone, and flexibility. And exercising can be great fun.
The thing is, it's easy to get sidetracked from it, and not just for adults. Kids today have cell phones and DVD players and game consoles, etc. Going "outside to play" may require careful planning, particularly in urban areas. As we plug in more and more, biking and hiking or taking the time to exercise are too easily "put off" until we have more time. Often, physical activities that don't have a scheduled time are too easily dismissed.
And, more importantly, when you're young is the best time to develop the kind of habits that can serve you the rest of your life. Unfortunately, too often, physical education involves learning the rules of teams sports that don't interest you (and that you can't do yourself) and calisthenics. Better, in my opinion, to try to teach classes in physical education that interest children and give them a lifelong interest in something, such as martial arts or swimming or even dance, something they can do comfortably in a group, but can also indulge in by themselves.
When I was a kid, I walked everywhere, I played volleyball, I did martial arts. Unfortunately, I didn't do the volleyball and other exercises smartly nor appreciate the damage I was doing to my knees (congenital defect). I didn't appreciate stretching nor did I develop good habits. I've fallen in love with a number of activities I'm paying for that now.
But none of those reasons are a good enough excuse for my current inactivity. And I set a poor example to my children. But I can change that and am, though not as quickly as I should.
Better for my children if they start out with the good habits now.