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Obesity, physical education and sports... hmmm?

Posted: November 28, 2012 - 5:01pm  |  Updated: November 29, 2012 - 9:50am

As a Physical Education teacher at SoHi and Skyview for 30 years, I read with great interest the recent Clarion article “Board sees obesity study results.” As our nation ponders how to pay for an unimaginable health plan, it stirred passions of my own teaching experiences and my relationship with students as we innocently fought the ravages of obesity 45 minutes per day, five days per week and had a blast doing so. Fond memories of my own children having P.E. more than twice per week and participating in organized sports at the elementary school were apparently luxuries that I naively took for granted. With the advent of No Child Left Behind, these programs were trimmed to make room in the curriculum for remedial and credit recovery. If the curriculum has been fattened with these courses, it should be no surprise it was at the expense of our children’s health. In this regard, perhaps it was No Child Left Ahead.

The quiet disappearance of our Physical Education minutes per day and the removal of competitive sports programs has shown itself to be a big, fat mistake that we should undo. The hallmark of the public school system in America is the efficient delivery of essential skills to the masses. At the top of the essentials list must be personal health, and sadly, we have pushed it aside. The Kenai Peninsula School District has the personnel and facilities to make a positive impact, and must re-double efforts committing itself to a daily K-12 curriculum of organized Physical Education and sports delivered by trained professionals.

In Alaska, it is best for students to get their activity in our brightly lit gyms, pools and fields. It is improper to believe that outsourcing physical activity to the Boys and Girls Club has the same results. I urge parents, administrators and school board members to have an uplifting conversation about getting our kids sweaty on a daily basis. Bye-bye obesity study, hello healthy Alaskans! Let’s get P.E. five days per week for every student even if we need to stretch the school day. A comprehensive sports program at the elementary level needs to return. Soccer, flag football, basketball, volleyball and track with full fledged academic and citizenship requirements to participate can only improve student performance and school pride. Start keeping score and you will see what happens. Sport instills self esteem, discipline and respect for yourself and others. Getting supported by students, staff and community are powerful incentives to be active and put your best foot forward. Showing students by our own healthy lifestyle, the programs we provide and the high expectations we have for them is a powerful statement we must make. The statements we make through our inaction our understood as well. Please call me when the Redoubt Roadrunners play the Soldotna Elementary White Sox (in any sport). It’s a game we all should hope for.

OK everybody ... drop and give me 20!

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jlmh 11/30/12 - 11:46 am

"With the advent of No Child Left Behind, these [physical education] programs were trimmed to make room in the curriculum for remedial and credit recovery. If the curriculum has been fattened with these courses, it should be no surprise it was at the expense of our children’s health."

I agree. Only a fraction of students benefit from extra remedial courses or credit recovery opportunities. But all students need daily exercise to be healthy.

Watchman on the Wall
Watchman on the Wall 11/30/12 - 01:15 pm
Exercise verses Foods

Exercises are good to a degree and every one needs that, but one must also consider the foods that we are all now forced to eat by Govt. sponcered programs. GMO foods are manditory now by the Govt. with a $1 Million dollar fine for anyone that grows Natural seed foods for resale to the public. The only seeds allowed for foods are supplied by Monsanto Corp and all of these are GMO seeds. These GMO foods are a main factor to our many health issues & disease in every area of our bodies at all ages and contribute to obesity, cancer, altzheimers, diabetis, heart, respiratory, as well as many other disorders related to healty of our bodies. You can exercise all you want, but when you consume poisonious foods & drinks nonstop, it ain't gonna help much, now is it?
BIG $MONEY$ in health & exercise programs, as well as medical costs related to our unhealthy GMO foods we are forced to consume daily. This is why many starving nations refuse any aid from America that is seed related foods, because even these uneducated people know that these GMO seeds will kill off all natural seeds and eventually commit suicide themselves after several growth cycles and they will be left with nothing to eat. Can ya say Seed Vaults and see why they are saving and storing Natural seeds by the billions because they can see the writing on the storage bends of these GMO seeds knowing that they will eventually die off and then what?
If you really think they want any of us health and cut off their $MONEY$ flow, then you need more help other than exercise or eating correctly because they don't really care and wish to promote Good Health that will cost them much monies if we are healthy.
Sports are Great and if not for them i would have never almost graduated from highschool. They should cause self asteem, but with the no winners/loosers plan there has become only everyones equal plan and the no child left behind thing is a crock when one really looks at whats being done to promote any self asteem or desire to advance in this world of freebies from the Govt. We are actually leaving all of our childern behind to the govt. programs which help no one any where other than to create more dependance on govt. that will eventually run out of funds and then what? Everyone gets left behind that depends on govt. for any thing, unless these people have learned to provide for self and others they will all suffer loss at a great cost when these programs do fail. We already see govt. programs failing and jobs lost as well as care for dependance on these programs and it's gonna get worse as time goes by.

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