Posts Tagged ‘gym classes’

Getting Fit in School, But Not in Gym Class

Most kids don’t get enough exercise, in school or out.

This great fitness article demonstrates how creative New York City teachers can be to make up for the lack of gym classes in public schools.

Research shows there is a real link between quality physical education and present and future physical activity participation.

The state mandates that city students get a certain amount of exercise: every day for kindergarten through 3rd grade, for at least 120 minutes a week; 3 times a week for grades 4 through 6, also for a minimum of 120 minutes; and at least 90 minutes a week for grades 7 and 8.

But the Department of Education is failing gym, said City Comptroller John C. Liu.

An audit of 31 elementary schools throughout the city found that none were in full compliance with the state guidelines on physical education.

High school students should get 225 minutes per week, according to the National Association for Sports and Physical Education (NASPE).

Sadly, according to a NASPE report, about two-thirds of high school students don’t get the recommended levels of physical activity that increases their heart rate and makes them breathe hard some of the time for a total of at least 60 minutes per day on 5 or more days a week.

Some city educators have found innovative ways to make up for lack of gym class.

Among them are:

a free before-school running program sponsored by the New York Road Runners

after-school fitness clubs

having students stretch or do simple calisthenics at their desks

practicing yoga for a few minutes before a test

These educators should be applauded for getting students up and moving.

As guidelines from the federal Health and Human Services recommend, no period of moderate- or vigorous-intensity activity is too short to count toward the recommended daily activity.

The most obvious teaching lesson, of course, is the importance of being physically active throughout life, starting at a young age.