The New P.E.

It’s 8:30 a.m., and a group of high school students are dancing? This is the new face of physical education.

In the old days, P.E. had a set schedule where we had basketball and volleyball. Now we’re getting into more variety.”

This variety includes:

Dancing,
Rock Climbing,
Canoeing,
Rollerblading.

They hope the variety will help improve these numbers:

Ten-year-olds today weigh 11 pounds more than 10-year-olds in 1973.
Today’s kids are also exercising 25 percent less than children in the 1970’s.

P.E. teacher Paul says students love the variety, and they’re becoming much healthier. “I wish that I could take all of the old phys-ed teachers, shake them by the shoulders and say this is the way you need to go.”

He adds, “You’ve got to keep them interested so they are active for life, and I think that’s the key, to keep them moving and active throughout their lives. So we try to get them into lots of different things.”

Even calisthenics have gotten a makeover. Heart monitors help students regulate their pace. However, they’re not pushed into becoming super-athletes.

“I used to be one of those people who used to push kids to do more because I thought they all needed to fit within a certain mold. Well, now I know better. And so those kids are enjoying it,” says Paul. He hopes his work will produce a new generation of healthy adults.

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