A healthy lifestyle isn’t just about doing sport at prescribed times

In part one of this series we looked at how the majority of UK children don’t get the government-recommended minimum of 60 minutes’ moderate exercise per day, and ways to address this.

The activities suggested can be categorised as four main types: everyday activities; getting out in nature; organised sports; and active play.

Here we’ll consider each in a bit more detail.

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What is a PE teacher’s role in extra-curricular activities?

The reason most of us went into PE teaching was based around the love of sport. Teaching, organising and coaching sport after school is still an undoubted highlight of the job for many.

However, how sad is it that this is now something that takes you away from your desk or laptop and can become an obstacle to completing key tasks that are valued by the school leadership team.

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Should encouraging extracurricular physical activity be part of a PE teacher’s role?

All teachers have a range of responsibilities including educating, safeguarding and mentoring students. But do PE teachers have an additional responsibility to encourage participation in physical activity outside of school hours?

Research studies show that students who are more physically active perform better in school due to their higher levels of energy and concentration.

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Teaching Cross Country

Cross country is a sport that is all about fitness and stamina, two elements which can have a positive impact on a child’s cognitive function outside of PE (Mokgothu, 2007).

Sport should be accessible to all, regardless of background or physical ability. Teachers and coaches, whether in a classroom or outside on the school field, are the ones who can inspire anyone to thrive in a given subject. Within the curriculum, PE is about increasing participation and incorporating a competitive element to develop physical literacy.

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Skeleton Bob

Due to the nature of skeleton, it is not as simple as going down to a local sports shop and getting the appropriate equipment, as the sport requires a specialised sled, footwear, clothing and helmet.  However, the popularity and media coverage of the sport has improved over recent years. This has combined to make skeleton the fastest growing Olympic winter sport.

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