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creative intellectual activity. ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy Physical education which is commonly a part of the curriculum at school level includes training in the development and care of the human body and maintaining physical fitness. Physical education is also about sharpening overall cognitive abilities and motor skills via athletics, exercise and various other physical activities like martial arts and dance. Here are some of the benefits that highlight the importance of physical education: 1. Maintaining Sound Physical Fitness Physical fitness is one of the most important elements of leading a healthy lifestyle. Physical education promotes the importance of inclusion of a regular fitness activity in the routine. This helps the students to maintain their fitness, develop their muscular strength, increase their stamina and thus stretch their physical abilities to an optimum level. Physical fitness helps to inculcate the importance of maintaining a healthy body, which in turn keeps them happy and energized. Sound physical fitness promotes, increased absorption of nutrients, better functioning of digestion and all other physiological processes and hence results in all round fitness. 2. Overall Confidence Booster Indulging in sports be it team sports or dual and individual sports, leads to a major boost in self-confidence. The ability to go on the field and perform instills a sense of self-confidence, which is very important for the development of a person’s character. Every victory achieved on the field, helps to boost a person’s self-confidence. Moreover, the ability to accept defeat on field and yet believe in your own capabilities brings a sense of positive attitude as well. Thus participation in sports, martial arts or even dance and aerobics, is always a positive influence on a student’s overall personality and character and works wonders for his/her selfconfidence. 3. Awareness about Important Health and Nutrition Issues Physical education classes are about participating in the physical fitness and recreation activities, but they are also about gaining knowledge about the overall aspects of physical health. For example in today’s world the problems of obesity, or anemia and bulimia are rampant amongst teenagers. Physical education provides an excellent opportunity for teachers to promote the benefits of healthy and nutritious food and cite the ill effects of junk food. Promoting sound eating practices and guidelines for nutrition are some of the very valuable lessons that can be taught through physical education classes at school level. 4. Inculcating Sportsmanship and Team Spirit Participation in team sports, or even dual sports helps to imbibe a sense of team spirit amongst the students. While participating in team sports, the children have to function as an entire team, and hence they learn how to organize themselves and function together. This process of team building hones a person’s overall communications skills and the ability to get along with different kind of people. Thus participating in team sports instills a sense of team spirit, which is a great value addition to anyone’s personality and helps a lot in all the future endeavors. 5. Development of Motor Skills The ability to concentrate, the ability to swing the racket just at the right time are some of the examples of development of motor skills in the physical education classes. Participation in sports and several physical education activities helps to sharpen the reflexes of the students. It also brings order and discipline to the body movements and helps in development of a sound body posture as well. The hand-eye co-ordination improves as well. 6. Importance of Hygiene and Sex education
Physical education classes also include lessons about the importance of personal hygiene and importance of cleanliness. Thus the physical education classes help the students to know the important hygiene practices that must be practiced in order to maintain the health and well being throughout the life. In addition to this, the physical education classes also cover an important aspect that the children have to deal with at the age of puberty. Physical education classes also impart sex-education and hence help the students deal with their queries and doubts about the subject of sexuality. 7. Enhancing Overall Cognitive Abilities Physical education classes help to enhance the overall cognitive abilities of the students, since they get a lot of knowledge about the different kinds of sports and physical activities that they indulge in. For example a person who is participating in a specific type of martial arts class, will also gain knowledge about the origins of the martial art, and the other practices and historical significance associated with it. Thus physical education helps to enrich the knowledge bank of the students. 8. Encouraging Budding Sportsmen Physical education classes are an excellent opportunity for all the budding sportsmen and sportswomen who wish to make their mark in the world of sports. Physical education classes allow the budding sportsmen and sportswomen to explore and experiment with several areas until they find what interests them. After this, physical education classes also allow the students to indulge the sport of their choice and then go ahead to participate in several tournaments and competitions, which help to give the students an exposure to the competitive world of sports. 9. A Stress Buster and Source of Enjoyment In addition to the health benefits and the knowledge benefits that the students get from the physical education classes, one important aspect of it remains to be recreation. Students, who are busy with their other subjects in the curriculum, often get exhausted with the listening, reading and writing pattern of studying and need a recreational activity as a source of recreation. Sports and other physical fitness activities offered in the physical education class are a welcome break for the students. 10. Promoting Healthy Lifestyle in Adulthood Children, who learn the importance of health and hygiene in their early ages, tend to grow up to be responsible and healthy adults who are well aware of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Thus the overall physical education program, that includes different types of physical activities and sports and also provides important information about hygiene and overall health, helps in creating well-informed pupils. A well-balanced and all-round physical education class helps to create responsible adults who know the importance of a healthy lifestyle.