For many kids, recess and Physical Education (P.E.) are favorite times of the day. Academic classes may be engaging and enlightening, but physical activities provide a change of pace and a fun break during the school day. Physical education provides a lot more benefits than fun, however. While many schools lobby for more time sitting in the classroom, it’s important to remember why physical education is so important.

Plenty of scientific research studies point to the cognitive benefits of moderate physical activity. Regular exercise can help kids focus and think more clearly due to and may even lead to higher standardized test scores.

Teamwork learned during physical education classes translates nicely into group projects completed in the classroom. Team sports help kids to learn how to work together toward a common goal, promotes healthy competition, and good sportsmanship.

Outside of the classroom, exercise is a primary way of staying healthy and preventing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other issues later in life. Learning healthy habits in childhood sets a person up for success in later years.

Regular physical exercise leads to greater muscle strength, endurance, and coordination. Trying out a new sport can lead to a great understanding of one’s preferences and talents. Building skills and becoming good at a sports builds self-esteem

For some kids, P.E. class is the only physical activity they participate in each week. After school, the lure of TV and video games is strong and many kids may not get the recommended amount of daily exercise if they’re not in physical education classes. While parents and guardians would do well to ensure that kids are active outside of school, cutting P.E. classes in school will only worsen the problem.

Over the summer, kids may be even more inclined to be inactive. Summer day camps such as SportsTyme in Central Florida can help kids to have a good time and stay active while not in school.