Is gym class really that important?

As education funding shifts each year, some schools consider removing gym class from students' schedules. It's important for parents to understand the effects of not having gym, as this can potentially lead to lowered academic performances. There are many benefits to being physically active for one period during school. Here are a few to consider before cutting gym altogether:

Improved focus
Many adults work out before they head to their jobs for the day. They often say going for a run or taking a yoga class provides them with energy and focus. The same goes for gym class. When students use the opportunity to run around, they are getting rid of fidgety energy and instead calming their bodies so they are ready to concentrate in class. If only adults had an hour for physical activity in the middle of the work day!

Better collaboration skills 
Gym doesn't just teach students how to run, jump and shoot a basketball. Learning these abilities facilitates more important life skills, like teamwork. No matter who ends up on either side of a gym volleyball net or basketball court, the kids must work together toward the same goal: winning. Playing defense so their teammates can dribble by and score, or passing a soccer ball to a teammate both help kids understand the value in working together. This is very important as students move to postsecondary school and eventually full-time jobs.

Improved overall health
People who are physically active tend to be healthier. They have lower body weights and carry less fat, which can reduce their likelihood of developing diseases like diabetes and heart conditions. Teaching kids to lead a healthy lifestyle when they are young is important so they continue these good habits into adulthood. Gym class exposes students to many fun, active pursuits, from playing sports to trying dance and yoga.

Better standardized testing scores
A study published in the journal Pediatrics found that students who are physically active perform better on standardized tests. Taking part in gym class can help students perform better in exams like the Common Core State Standards. The New York Times postulated that this improvement in scores is due to the increased ability to focus that is also associated with kids exercising. 

Increased socialization 
In class, kids get in trouble for talking to one another. When it's gym time, though, they're free to joke and chat as they like. Children are at an important stage of learning social cues, and attending gym class may help them learn how to interact with peers. Plus, sometimes competition can lead to disagreements, and students may learn conflict resolution skills alongside how to throw a football or climb a rope. 

Parents can improve upon the benefits of gym class by promoting physical activity at home. Going on walks together as a family or playing games like catch are great ways to reap some of the positive aspects of gym class at home. 

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

The Standard Method for Mastering the Standards™