The importance of Physical Education

Pio Solon

WHAT first goes to mind when we think of PE (Physical Education)? We are reminded of that subject in school that we never really took seriously. This might have been true in my generation’s time, but as students and our population have gotten more and more overweight and unhealthier, we’re seeing countries and institutions look at Physical Education with more importance.

This is part of the group that’s crafting PE in our country, and I’m fortunate that I get to participate in changing and molding the landscape of PE and sports science in the country.

Why is PE important?

For some children it’s their only avenue for movement. Kids these days definitely do not get to play on the streets like we used to anymore. PE perhaps might be their only way to exercise; that’s why PE teachers should do it well.

It’s good for their short- and long-term health. Simply put, movement is good for you. Studies show that a person’s BMI (Body Mass Index) is closely tied up to their BMI at 12 years of age. If we have chubby cute kids now, we’ll have overweight adults later on.

It promotes other healthy habits. For some, PE classes create awareness for the need to lead healthier lives. Exercise classes can be an introduction to better nutrition habits and stress management.

Movement promotes learning. Our academic classes always focus on the cognitive side of our development. What most people do not know is that movement enhances cognitive function through more oxygenation going to the brain, and the expression of brain-derive neurotrophic factors which is a neuron-forming protein tied up to learning and memory.