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The Importance of
Physical Education

The importance of physical education or health and physical education cannot be overstated. They are the areas of knowledge that will ultimately drive our success engine. We are physical and spiritual beings. Our mind, body, and spirit are all connected and learning how they work together and how to care for them can save us from unnecessary pain and suffering. Conversely, knowing how to take care of our body, mind, and spirit will lead us down the path toward happiness, health, and wealth. For these reasons the importance of physical education should be stressed by every school district, private school, family, and athletic organization.

Cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases are four of the top killers of men and women today giving credence to the notion that the importance of physical education has not been stressed or has lacked the health component it should have. All of these previously mentioned diseases are preventable.

Our seniors are too often unnecessarily frail and inactive although we are seeing that change. Many of them began to learn the importance of physical education as they began to age and got that education they needed to make proactive changes in their lives. That is why we are beginning to find more and more fit and active seniors, though we do still have a long way to go.

We have learned a great deal about preventative health, yet our children are obese, and out of shape. Our children are not only are out of shape but they arenít learning basic athletic skills, which in turn make them more productive. They just arenít outside participating in sports Ė especially neighborhood pick-up games. These concerns again give us an indication that our culture is not at this time making the importance of physical education real enough for our young people and many of their parents. All of us who are involved with young people as teachers, coaches, mentors, parents, and grandparents have a responsibility to educate them, motivate them, and persuade them to get active, get healthy, and get in the game. The same can be said for the many seniors among us. If the importance of physical education were really emphasized these issues would not be issues at all.

The most powerful tool of influence we have is to model good behaviors. We can best demonstrate the importance of physical education by living it ourselves. We should be sure we are working on ourselves at the same time we preach to our children about the value of being involved and active in a sport throughout their lives, or the value of eating right and being fit. On this site you will find information, resources, and products to help you and those you love strive for personal excellence in the fields of athletics, health, and fitness. Each person who visits this site can begin by becoming a member. Each of us will have our own issues, goals, and obstacles to living a healthy lifestyle, but we must strive for excellence in this area. When we live it, we will feel the difference while demonstrate the importance of physical education. We will find it much easier to dream, act, achieve, and enjoy. There are a few areas of health and physical education we will focus on at this time. They are fitness, nutrition, athleticism, and spiritual well-being.

First, I will discuss the area of fitness. Fitness and athleticism are very similar. You can be very athletic and not very fit or very fit and not very athletic. Fitness has to do with our muscle tone and the ability of our body to maximize its oxygen intake. Those two aspects of fitness are anaerobic and aerobic. We need to cover both. There are varying degrees of fitness and certainly we all donít need to be in world class shape. We should though be fit enough that a day of physical activity does not lay us up for a week. In our modern culture if most of us had to put in a day of work on the farm as they did one to two generations ago we would be in trouble.

To begin a fitness routine you need to visit your doctor and let him or her know what you want to do. They will give you the practical advice and based on your over-all health while reemphasizing the importance of physical education. In doing this fitness routine you should build in stretching, anaerobic exercise, and aerobic exercise. You most definitely do NOT need to buy expensive gym equipment or memberships at clubs to get started. There are a number of good programs you can do right at home. Having someone who will do this with you and hold you accountable would be a great benefit. Any fitness program you actually do and do consistently will help you in all areas of your life. You will have more energy, will perform better on the job, will feel less stress, and will sleep better. You must take action to achieve those benefits. The motivation to follow through and the building of the routine is most peopleís down-fall.

The importance of physical education can also be found in the area is that of athleticism. Athleticism is really about body control. It covers things like stamina, eye-hand coordination, speed, and agility. It encompasses the skills that enable us to do many different physical tasks. It is also the skills that would allow us to participate in team and individual sports for our entire lives. Skiing, swimming, basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, tennis, bowling, and of course golf are several of many sports that can provide a fun and competitive outlet for people of all ages. For those who are not naturally athletic becoming fit and actually participating in athletic activities and exercises can and will improve that athleticism. You can find that competitive outlet and not feel embarrassed about your performance. Just go get in the game.

One area of significant importance of physical education, but is often only superficially covered, ignoring vital information, is the area of nutrition. Nutrition a broad topic and can be controversial. There are basic principles that you need to understand. One of those principles is your body needs basic building blocks for your cells. It must get vitamins and minerals in the correct amount to operate to its maximum abilities. We get those vitamins in minerals by the foods and drinks we consume. The next basic principle is that the fuel for our body is calories. If we consume more calories than our body uses it converts the extra calories to fat. When we consume fewer calories than our body needs we burn excess fat. In each case we can develop serious health conditions if the problem continues for an extended period of time. One other fundamental principle is we must keep our bodies hydrated. Dehydration is an often ignored and serious problem in America today. Within those foundations there are numerous other nutrition related topics that can be discussed all of which can impact our overall health. There are a number of books that would be highly recommended reading.

If the importance of physical education is to be truly taught we need to look at all of its components. The body, mind, and spirit are all connected and must be addressed. The final category, then, would be that of our well-being. It is this area that may well be the most important, yet the most misunderstood and the most difficult to share because it covers our spiritual side. Our well-being consists not only of our general health and fitness, but our spiritual well-being as well. It is that spiritual side that has been so over-looked in western medicine. We are spiritual beings anyway you look at it and denying that truth can lead to serious consequences. The challenge then is to determine exactly what is meant by spiritual well-being and how does one achieve it? When students begin to understand the importance of physical education and all the components of physical education they will understand why spirituality is connected to it. It really can't be left out if we want to have a positive impact on the over-all-well-being of people - children and adults.

Spirituality goes beyond who we are. It includes a realm that science has yet to truly understand. It includes things like beliefs, values, emotions and intelligence. These aspects of a personís personality are not easily understood, but profoundly impact who they are and their well-being. There are psychological processes that can show people how to change your beliefs, values, and emotions. We can do things to improve our ability to think and reason. At the same time, genetics plays a role in those areas and will influence health and well-being. Injuries to the brain can also change a personís personality. Those factors play a major role in our well-being, but are only part of the spiritual picture.

Spirituality as played a significant role in healing in most religions of the world. The importance of physical education to adherents of Eastern religions and native religions is without question. They have kept more of those healing arts in tact over the centuries than have the western, Christian nations. While to some it may seem out of place in discussing the importance of physical education, any discussion regarding spirituality and health would be incomplete if it did not include a discussion of faith and religious creeds. It also must be noted that while religious people tend to live longer and healthier than non-religious people they do still get sick and die. Being religious does not automatically mean you will be healthy; however, if you are truly a convert of a religious faith you will tend to be healthier than those who donít.

The real question would then have to be does it matter what religious faith you are? First, we must point out that ALL religions are mutually exclusive. They have core beliefs that set them apart from other religious views and those core beliefs cannot all be true. Given that fact it is a reasonable conclusion that it does matter because each will have a different view on how an individual is to live their life and what happens to you upon death. It then would make sense to investigate the truth claims of the religions of the world. You could decide you were to start your investigation with Christian truth claims, because a fundamental truth claim of Christianity is that Jesus Christ was the son of God, was crucified, and was raised from the dead three days after he died. If the claims of Christianity are true Jesus not only claimed to be God, but he proved his deity. He further claimed that he was the only way to reach God the father. If those claims are true then all other claims to the contrary are false.

In investigating the truth claims of any of the worldís religions Ė or even secular humanism and atheism Ė you could begin by asking God to reveal himself to you. If you were to do this sincerely every day for a couple of months while you investigated the claims of just one of the world religions you would have three possible outcomes. God does reveal himself to you and you begin to see the truth or falsehood behind the claims you are investigating or he doesnít reveal himself to you and you are left to use your own reasoning to conclude if there is a God and if there is which of the world religions' truth claims best match up with the reality we observe, or accept the idea that there is no God. If you do this you will be changed AND your health will improve. If you have a serious medical condition you wonít necessarily be healed, but you will feel differently about your condition thereby improving your health.

As we have shown, the importance of physical education is that when properly taught, it covers not only aspects of the body but also the mind and spirit. The components of physical education should include physical fitness, nutrition education, as well as the mind and body connection, especially the spiritual side. When done properly people can then make informed decisions about the life-style THEY CHOOSE to live. If they choose wisely they will find personal satisfaction and improved health and if they choose poorly they will have emptiness and less than optimal health. Education is the key.


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