Kids need exercise

One of the few topics related in some way to education that is not political is the need for kids to be healthy and active. So, what should schools and parents do to make sure children stay healthy? Do something, anything that is activity oriented — just don’t call it exercise.

For example, elementary schools should not do away with recess, even for students in the intermediate grades because it gives the older children time to run, throw a frisby or kick a soccer ball. And in high schools, there should be any number of possible athletic activities, from team sports or simply spare time to shoot hoops.

I mean, life expectancy rates have been continually rising over the last century.  However, there are concerns that the current trend towards a sedentary lifestyle could reverse that trend.  Why? Too much TV. Too many video games. Too much time on the computer. And, not enough cycling, running, throwing, jumping and climbing.

Anyway, the trend today is to organize outside fun activities that are healthy without calling them exercise. And, here are dozens of Google sources that will tell you how to do that.

6 thoughts on “Kids need exercise

  1. Well I know with my children after they come home from school you have to do at least an hour home work or they will wend up illiterate so they get home do some homewoprk you make supper more homework then its close to bed time.

    Why after the school has a grade one student for 30 hours a week there would be any need for homework is bewildering.

    But the school will use any excuse to cancel recess, if one or two children are repeatedly bad all the children get recess canceled.

    Because children don’t dress for the cold whole schools can’t go out if the windchill is below -25.

    It’s mental.


  2. Dinosaur — A half hour homework as a review is fine for primary aged children. More than that, the teacher is not doing their job. And, yes, even I can remember indoor recesses when its pouring rain or the windchill was at dangerous levels. But that was not often. However, even during indoor recesses, we did stand up exercises. How many remember “Simon says” or “musical chairs.”


  3. A lot of teachers today don’t give a damn about the kids, so why worry about what they really need? Easier to make everyone happy and collect the nice paycheque.


  4. Real Conservative — I don’t hold such a cynical view of teachers and I think your comment is a huge over generalization. They are not responsible for everything a child or youth does or doesn’t do? While most, if not all, elementary or intermediate school timetables should provide some time for exercise, it is primarily the parents this post is directed. Doing activities together that are fun and involve exercise.

    Lastly, it would be the very rare teacher who doesn’ t like kids. I mean, why spend your entire working life in such an environment when your whole day is involved with helping them? In high school, for example, teachers are subject specialists. So, it is not up to a math teacher to make sure their students have physical exercise.

    In other words, the purpose of this post is simply to encourage families to walk, ski, cycle, or whatever together.

    But, I will acknowledge that teachers have caused people to feel as you do by their constant complaining and entitlement attitude and the fact that the teachers unions are always threatening strike actions when they don’t get their own way — for less supervision, less this and less that. Sad really because it negatively affects the impression of an entire noble profession.

    And, didn’t I say that this post was not going to be political? Obviously easier said than done. 😉


  5. When my grand-kids come to visit (AB breaks are different from BC schools) we head over to the elementary school where they have a great playground. The school students are always running around the school building (better BC coastal weather eh?). They have set goals that involve the number of times (length) for running around the building. They are “healthier” by getting exercise, setting goals, learning about life styles, teamwork and just getting some fresh air … and it only takes 15 minutes.

    Turn off the TV/video games etc and Go Outside and PLAY.

    O/T – this weeks Autism series on Canada AM CTV – links at


  6. Sandy, no offense to you because I know you are a passionate educator. But I know school teachers here in the Toronto system and my jaw drops at what they tell me. No it isn’t the stories about the kids or the ‘system’ it is their own indifference. Also, it has become obvious that most teachers put the union first before most other considerations. It should always be kids first, but I can’t blame teachers when the public needs to push politicians to clean up the education system.


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