Monday, May 26, 2008

Physical Education for the Body and Brain




The Ventura County Star ran a series of articles on physical education, physical activity and childhood obesity. See links below.........

Body-Brain Connection
According to Dr. Levin, medical director for the Ventura County Public Health Department, kids who play hard every day may be making their brains, as well as their bodies, stronger. Researchers have found that children who exercise on a regular basis have more neural activity in the frontal areas of their brains. This serves as evidence that children who are physically active may be better able to organize schoolwork, do class projects and learn mathematics.

Quality PE Matters
Parents are encouraged to provide daily opportunity for physical fitness in the home routine, but school may be the only place that a child consistently engages in regular physical activity. This daily physical activity is critical for a child's physical, mental and emotional success. Studies have shown the importance of physical fitness in educating both mind and body. When children learn the value of leading an active lifestyle, this will have a positive impact on both academic success and the physical and emotional wellness. For many children, this opportunity is the physical education program provided at school.

Healthy Choices Explored
Most of us as parents focus on how well our child does in their math, English and science classes. We check their scores, compare it to the norms and then take action if necessary. We visit with the teacher to see what help is needed and provide extra work if required. Yet, as the Greeks recognized long ago, physical activity goes hand in hand with learning. Without physical activity, the learning process is impaired. Do we as parents take physical activity as seriously as we should?