physical education classes

Let’s get physical — Why Penn should offer for-credit physical education classes

Originally published Nov. 1 in The Daily Pennsylvanian

Editorial

At an academically competitive school like Penn, it isn’t hard to find a student whose most dreaded high school course was [physical education]. [P.E.] class was often a bizarre interlude in an otherwise normal school day. Jerry Seinfeld described it well: “You had English, Social Studies, Geometry, then suddenly you’re in ‘Lord of the Flies’ for 40 minutes.”

However, beyond the clear physical benefits of exercise, college students who regularly work out are often more focused, less stressed, and have sharper memories. For these reasons, we believe that Penn should utilize its existing athletic facilities and offer for-credit physical education elective courses. Read More

exercise at an elevated heart rate

Students Improve Longevity and Academic Readiness Through Exercise at an Elevated Heart Rate

Research Correlates Exercise at an Elevated Heart Rate to Benefits that Include Improved Cognitive Performance

IHT designed the Spirit System to focus students on minutes of exercise at an elevated heart rate because academic research shows conclusively that exercise at an elevated heart rate correlates to increased longevity, improved cognitive performance, and self-regulation and classroom functioning among children.

There are different philosophies about the key fitness metrics in evaluating fitness activities such as step counts, time to run a given distance, calories burned, and minutes of elevated heart rate. Our philosophy of focusing on minutes of elevated heart rate aligns with the Center for Disease Control’s 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans1 standards which recommend:

  • “children and adolescents aged 6 to 17 years should have 60 minutes (1 hour) or more of physical activity each day” and
  • “most of the 60 or more minutes a day should be either moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity and should include vigorous-intensity physical activity at least 3 days a week.”

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Don’t skip the gym: PE important to learning, academic success

Originally published June 23, 2018 by WRVO Public Media.

With the demand for schools to focus more on academics and less on gym class, many districts in the U.S. have cut back students’ physical education times or eliminated them completely. However, an author and authority on the connection between brain activity and fitness said the two goals of fitness and academic success are not mutually exclusive.

Dr. John Ratey, an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and internationally recognized expert on neuropsychiatry, spoke with “Take Care” about the importance of physical exercise on brain development, especially when it comes to adolescents. Read More

Sports involvement builds character in young students

Originally published Aug. 1, 2018 in the Cleveland Jewish News.

By Becky Raspe

For young students, after-school holds many possibilities. Too young to get jobs, students opt for extracurricular activities, like sports.

According to Kelli Pastor, physical education teacher at the Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School in Beachwood, and William Jones, director of physical education (K-8) at University School in Shaker Heights, students can learn important life lessons from sports involvement. Read More

physical activity

Fighting the ‘Summer Slide’ with physical activity

Originally published May 9, 2018 by WFLA.com News Channel 8

By Evan Donovan

The “Summer Slide” isn’t just about kids losing some of what they learn in the classroom, it can happen to the body almost as easily as the mind.

“Whether it’s [physical education] class, recess, the day to day structure of extracurricular activity when they’re in school,” said Jarrod Williams, Youth Sports Advisor for YMCA USA, “it all falls by the wayside in the summer months. That ‘physical’ aspect of the summer slide is backed up by research.”

Physical activity has been linked to better brain function and can help keep the mind sharp, particularly as people age. Read More