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Students on the Move: The Benefits of Physical Education

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Physical Education is a vital part of any child's overall educational experience. And don’t let the name fool you—its benefits are much more than simply physical. Research has shown that, with regards to academic performance, young students who have Physical Education daily for at least 30-45 minutes have a higher level of focus and attention when completing tasks and assignments. When we see both the physical and cognitive benefits, that is when we truly see the overall picture of a complete Physical Education experience.

At Harding Academy, every student participates in at least 30 minutes of P.E. or athletics per day. Students engage in motor-, skill-, and agility-style development activities and games. They gain upper and lower body strength, hand-eye coordination, flexibility, and even spatial awareness when doing running and retrieval-related activities. Students also learn the process of "warming up" and preparing the body for activities. They engage in daily circuits that introduce body weight resistance training, speed and agility, and power movements. Through all of these exercises, students begin to understand the capabilities of their bodies.

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One of the most important aspects of physical education is training the heart. Everything in Harding Academy’s elementary physical education program, from warm-ups to games, involves engaging in activity at a very high pace and having a low recovery time. Young children don’t understand the importance of stamina and endurance, so it is a key teaching concept. Elementary P.E. Instructor Tabias Hood says, “It is amazing to see students develop the endurance skills to make it through a high-energy game.”

One of the most underrated benefits of physical education is the level of satisfaction and personal accomplishment that children experience. With the increase in sedentary lifestyles in many of American homes, children often rely on video games, tablets, social media, and other electronic devices for engagement. It is life-changing for these same children to learn, and gain confidence in, their physical abilities.

PE physical educationHarding Academy Elementary P.E. Instructor Tabias Hood says, “I love teaching young children to believe in themselves and to understand that they don't have to be an athlete to be successful. Regardless of ability, they are special, and they have worth. My goal is to help them develop physical AND mental skills they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.”

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For a tour of Harding, please contact Anne Nowlin, Director of Enrollment and Advancement, at 901-767-4494 or nowlin.anne@hardingacademymemphis.org.

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