THE NEED TO INCORPORATE OTHER ACTIVITIES INTO PHYSICAL EDUCATION

Self-help Tips for Anxious Students

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Physical education trends have developed recently to incorporate a greater variety of activities besides typical sports. Introducing students to activities like bowling, walking/hiking, or frisbee at an early age can help them develop good activity habits that will continue into adulthood.

Some teachers have begun to incorporate stress-reduction techniques such as yoga, deep breathing and tai chi. Tai chi, an ancient martial arts form focused on slow meditative movements, is a relaxation activity with many benefits. Studies have shown that it enhances muscular strength and endurance, as well as cardiovascular endurance. It also provides psychological benefits such as improving general mental health, concentration, awareness and positive mood. It can be taught to any age student with little or no equipment, making it ideal for mixed ability and age classes. Tai chi can easily be incorporated into a holistic learning body and mind unit.

Teaching non-traditional sports may also provide motivation for students to increase their activity, and can help them learn about different cultures. For example, while learning about lacrosse in the Southwestern United States, students might also learn about the Native American cultures of the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada, where the sport originated. Teaching non-traditional (or non-native) sports provides an opportunity to integrate academic concepts from other subjects as well, which may now be required of many Physical Education teachers.

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