Physical education (PE) is more important than some people might think. Rather than just being a way to get students moving and promote health and fitness, it can actually offer a much broader kind of learning, with many lessons coming from PE that will help the children both now and in the future.
Read on to find out what some of those lessons are and why physical education is so important to have in schools.
Promotes Social and Emotional Learning
PE in schools is a great way to promote social and emotional learning (SEL). SEL is all about developing social and emotional skills that can help someone manage their emotions and navigate relationships.
When someone takes part in physical education, they will learn many of the skills that SEL would also develop, such as teamwork, leadership, and communication. They’ll also gain more self-esteem and confidence, and they’ll understand more about goal setting and problem solving, among many more skills.
All of this is crucial in school and in life, and with SEL in physical education, children can learn this at an early age and constantly put it into practice as they get older until it’s not even a part of life that they have to think about anymore.
Promotes Health and Wellness
One of the more obvious points about PE is also one of the most important; it promotes health and wellness. When you have a PE program in schools, it will help students to understand more about how their bodies work and what they need to do on a daily (or at least regular) basis to keep them working in the way they should for optimum health and happiness.
When they engage in PE, they can maintain a healthy body weight, lower their risk of chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease as they get older, and improve their health generally. Plus, physical activity is good for mental health, as it releases dopamine and serotonin into the body, therefore boosting their mood. All in all, PE in school can go a long way towards ensuring students’ ultimate health.
Develops Motor Skills
PE can also be useful when it comes to developing motor skills, which might include coordination and balance. These skills are definitely required in some sports and activities—for example, dance, gymnastics, and athletics—so by promoting this kind of lesson in school, children get the opportunity to enhance their motor skills in a way they wouldn’t be able to do otherwise.
This is a key factor in ensuring children have good self-confidence. A child who can be sure about their own physical capabilities will have better self-esteem and be more willing to take calculated risks, which will certainly help them as they get older.
Improves Academic Performance
You might assume that PE and academic lessons don’t have anything in common, but this is far from the truth. In reality, PE has actually been shown to improve academic performance, particularly in subjects such as reading, math, and science.
This might be because PE improves cognitive function and brain development, and of course, this is crucial when it comes to classroom-based academic lessons. Not only that, but students who do PE in school are also able to focus more, and therefore they will concentrate better in their other lessons.