Hudson Valley Parent

HVP September 2018

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22 Hudson Valley Parent n September 2018 literacy is the ability to move with confidence and desire. Kids need to learn how to run, balance, hop, skip, jump, fall, swim, throw and more. Many of these activities also develop motor planning, bone density, and strength." For some kids, gym class is the only physical fitness they get throughout the week, making it a vital part of their health and development. "Physical education classes help provide a consistent exercise program, especially for those students that may not engage in any programs outside of the school day," says Christine Stasaitis, a Lagrange mom of four and certified CrossfitKids and Teens coach in Dutchess County. "With approximately one-third of American children being overweight and fewer than 25% getting the recommended 60 minutes of moderate physical activity each day, By MICHELLE PETERSON G ym class and recreational sports are more than just a way to blow off steam. Hudson Valley coaches, parents and physical fitness experts sound off about the importance of physical education classes. Could kids learn valuable life lessons in gym that will determine how successful they will become in the future? Exercise the body, develop physical literacy One of the most obvious benefits of school gym class is the aspect of physical fitness, but physical education is more than just exercising the body. "Physical education helps our children to develop physical literacy," explains Susan Riordan, a Hudson Valley mom, physical therapist and certified athletic trainer. "Physical it is more important than ever for your child to take part in a consistent fitness program." More than just physical fitness Aside from physical fitness, gym class provides kids the opportunity to build upon essential socialization and life skills for succeeding in the world after school. "Physical education and playing sports outside of school teaches kids to work as a team, to win and lose graciously, how to cooperate, follow rules and work on self-control and confidence," explains Riordan. "Sports teaches us to strive to do our individual best." Stasaitis says, "Children and teens learn to develop leadership skills, how to manage their emotions, achieve goals, the importance of hard work, how to lose with dignity, discipline, self-responsibility, and most importantly, that life isn't always fair." Where academic work is mostly independent, physical education allows kids to work together towards goals and develop a deeper understanding of how to accept and provide peer support. "Sports provide a fun way to exercise and use as an outlet for feelings of anger or sadness," says Dawnmarie Nasi, a Wappingers Falls mom and special education teacher in Dutchess County. "Socialization is a very important time to have each athlete talk to each other, help each other and support each other as we learn the needed skills to play the game." Improve health, test scores and more with gym class 6 benefits of physical education

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