Healthy, physically active children learn better

In a time of increasing health risks and health care costs, prevention is key.
Exemplary physical education programs must be part of the solution. Quality K-12 physical education programs help students gain the knowledge, skills and confidence that promote lifelong physical activity.

The focus of physical education has shifted from competition to performance, personal challenges, individualized instruction, high levels of fitness that support good health and exposure to a wide variety of lifetime activities.

Children and adolescents should spend at least 60 minutes every day in a variety of moderate to vigorous physical activity; maintaining healthy bodies is vital for physical well-being, as well as mental and emotional development. Families should schedule a regular time throughout the week to be physically active.

Keeping youth turned on to physical activity is another challenge facing parents. That is why it is also important to help students explore a wide variety of physical activities to determine what they like and then encourage them to participate in those activities on a regular basis; select fitness-oriented gifts and reward children with activity rather than food.

With more inactive and overweight children than ever before, it is critically important for the future of our country that schools and families work together to promote quality, fun physical activity opportunities for everyone.

(Courtesy of Department of Defense Dependents Schools)