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When we think back fondly about the carefree days of school life, the PE (Physical Education) classes definitely stand out. Most of the mischief-making would primarily have happened during this period! In earlier times, students did not have a specific class for PE as reaching the school itself used to involve a lot of struggle. Thanks to the limited transport facilities, children had to travel far to go to schools. Also, there were no electronic gadgets present, so students had to venture out to play, which was their usual favorite pastime.

The Bane of Modern-Day Living

Let us turn our attention to how we live today. These modern times are ruled by electrical and electronic gadgets. We cannot imagine functioning without mobile phones and laptops; mothers cannot send their kids to school and get to their work on time without the mixer-grinder and induction stoves; fathers cannot drop off their kids and get to their work without a bike or a car. Above all this, most schools have a pre-admission clause that their wards’ homes should be within 3 km from school! Likewise, once a child returns home, it is a rush to attend one class after another – first the tuition class, then come the instrument class, karate class, dance class, swimming class, chess class and special coaching class if one is an IIT or a BITS aspirant! It is a never-ending list in this age of competition. All this puts an effective end to walking or playing. There is simply NO TIME (or energy)!

exerciseAs a result, most children grow up into unhealthy adults. In a recent study, India stands as the third largest contributor to obesity in the world with a whopping 30 million obese people. While we have quite a lot of things to be proud of, this is definitely not one of those.

We have crossed the time to think and need to take action immediately. Most young adults go on a sudden dieting spree when they reach the age in which there is a driving need to look good and slim! What they don’t realize is that a diet without any exercise is like faith without action. Both need to go hand-in-hand.

Encouraging Exercising at an Early Age

Given the fact that children spend more than 70% of their time at school, it is the primary responsibility of the teachers & physical educators to inculcate the habit of exercising and being healthy. As we all know, habits die hard, and exercise should be one of those good habits that live forever with us. And it’s the school’s responsibility to sow the seeds of fitness. PE classes are a mandatory part of every students’ life. Given the method of teaching these days, classes are made as much fun as possible. Schools even teach swimming, self-defense and horse-back riding lessons along with the regular indoor and outdoor sports.

When a child starts learning something right from a young age, as time progresses, it becomes a habit. So, what starts as PE class evolves as an exercise routine into adulthood. For those of us who do not like to sweat it out, there is always a refreshing game of chess or carom (or monopoly and snake & ladder if you wish!). Exercise is not limited to the body alone. Just like a healthy body leads to a healthy mind, the converse is also true. Yoga is a very good exercise to keep one’s mind and body healthy.

Everything does not work for everyone. Doing something that you love always yields better results than just doing something for the heck of it. So, identify what kind of exercise suits your needs the best and make it your routine. In the long run, it will make children healthy and happy individuals. To quote the words of Buddha, “To keep the body in good health is a duty; otherwise, we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”

Once a child enters 11th and 12th standards, they lose all touch with social life. Read about why this should not happen in this article.

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