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Studies have shown that students who are physically fit typically score higher on standardized tests. Nonetheless, schools very often do not have sufficient Physical Education curriculums or the resources to best empower students to meet ideal fitness standards.

Stepping up Physical Education would translate to making the course more effective at helping students to achieve and maintain ideal weight. Considering the regularity and length of time that students spend in PE classes, this can very well be achieved, and specifically with incorporation of more efficacious combinations of aerobic and/or cardio activities and, preferably, exercising equipment into the course.

Incorporating official P.E. fitness rooms into all schools,[1] in lieu of or in addition to periodic utilization of gymnasiums for certain Phys. Ed elements, would be most ideal. The prescribed P.E. fitness rooms would be entailing of age appropriate fitness equipment (i.e. treadmills, rowers, trampolines, recumbent/cardio bicycles, steppers, and/or provisions for use of Xbox 360 and/or Wii interactive games, etc.). The noted fitness rooms would be juxtaposed lockable Physical Education classrooms with desks for instructor and student utilization during completion and grading of written course work;[2] and for most schools this would not require any special construction projects, only utilization of existent rooms.

Formal indoor recreational provisions would also help to assure that especially students whose Phys. Ed. is solely or primarily outdoors are capable of participating in Physical Education during inclement and/or extremely hot or cold weather. Indoor recreational provisions would also avail exercising privileges to students with dust or other allergies who cannot participate in outdoor recreational activities at any given time.

Journal & Pedometer Course Requirements

Pedometers and journals for students to record their steps[3] throughout each school day and afterwards, and for students to likewise record what they eat and drink daily, and their thoughts, specifically those as may contribute to unhealthy eating and beverage consumption and lack of physical exercise beyond the academic setting, should be distributed, for keeps, to all Phys. Ed. students and/or journals and pedometers should be on the required supplies list for the course.

Outdoor Recreational Activities & Equipment

P. E. classes should also consist of outdoor recreational activities, such as bicycling, tennis, etc. for students of all ages, to add some fun and variety to student exercise routines.

Campus Bicycle Trails

Incorporating bicycle trails into school recreational areas would provide a defined path for students (early childhood, as well as middle and high schoolers) to ride school-owned and provided bicycles. Formal bicycle trails would prevent collisions and injuries at schools that already employ use of bicycles as an element of physical education, and others that would potentially do so.

Covering or Enclosing Outdoor Play Areas with Sunscreens/Canopies

Outdoor playgrounds or areas should be covered or enclosed within protective shelters (sunscreens/canopies) as much as is reasonably possible, to provide protection from ultraviolet rays (which can cause harm to the skin) during extremely hot weather.

Staff/Faculty Fitness Rooms

Staff/faculty fitness rooms, which all companies with especially sedentary employees should consider making provisions for, should be available for employee use during breaks, noting that staff/faculty could utilize the same facilities as students where they are employed at high schools, and when regular classes are not being conducted in those facilities.

Staff fitness rooms and/or centers for high school student and staff/faculty use could entail such equipment as Tread climbers, weight training equipment, etc.

Student & Staff Annual Biggest Loser and/or Swan Competitions

Schools could be creative with their fitness ventures. Some might host their own (annual) “Biggest Loser” and/or “Swan” competitions/pageants, offering incentives, such as shopping sprees to local clothing stores, etc. to winners.

Conclusion

Stepping up Physical Education, as prescribed, would better empower students [and staff/faculty] to attain and maintain ideal weight, and, accordingly, achieve optimal health, self-image and esteem, and academic performance.


[1] Volleyball, tennis, brisk walking, and/or basketball, of course, are examples of activities that could be or would continue being conducted in gymnasiums; such activities could also be performed in outdoor recreational areas where the relevant provisions are made.

[2] Fitness and Kids http://fitnessandkids.com/ is a wonderful site for viewing and purchasing age-appropriate elementary through high school fitness equipment.

[3] It is recommended that children take between 12,000 to 16,000 steps daily, while adults are recommended to take at least 10,000 steps daily.

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