Gym Class Taught Me How to Bounce a Ball, My Trainer Taught Me How to Bounce Back to Health

SMACK!

What stings more: another vinyl dodge-ball to the face, or the imprint on your forehead reminding you all day of your sloth-like reflexes?  This time you lasted 17 seconds on the floor.   A new personal best…

Sound familiar?

Back in grade school it seemed as though gym class had a way of naturally separating students into 2 categories: those who loved physical activity and those who hated it…

Which group did/do you belong to?

In gym class, we are mostly taught “skills”, not for life, but for sport.  Sure, some may argue that we learn important life lessons from sport: teamwork, how to lose, how to win, a good work ethic, etc. and to no extent am I arguing this – but we only learn them if we play them.

My point?

If sports weren’t your forte in school, you likely didn’t rush to get involved when you didn’t have to later on in life.   Picked last, made fun of, couldn’t cartwheel to save your life  – you dreaded gym class, and consequently your ideas around most things physical were tainted.

Suffering from post-traumatic gym syndrome, you felt like you were cut from the team of life – where, then, was the incentive to keep active?

If you really sucked at math, would you study to become an accountant?  If you hated chemistry, would you become a pharmacist?

Nope.  Doubt it.

And therein lies the rub.

But what if in gym class, instead of being graded on the development of your cerebellum, you were graded on the knowledge and understanding of your own body?

 

We should all know how our bodies work, how to use them, and how to take care of them – they are our vehicles through life.

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Our health. Our bodies. We only get one

 

How many of you, in gym class, learned the function of muscles?  I mean how they actually work?  Or learned about bones and joints, ligaments and tendons, heart rate and blood pressure?  Minimum daily exercise needed?  Posture awareness?   Breathing techniques?  How to lift?  How to bend?  VO2 max anyone?  Transversus abdominis? Macronutrients?  Phytonutrients?

Yes, I am speaking writing English, and what I’ve listed are just a few among many fundamentals that can help you realize and maintain fit and healthy bodies and minds.   But in school we don’t really learn the basic principles of what we’re made of and how we tick.  And that’s too bad.

 

Physical education.  Starting to sound a bit like an oxymoron, eh?

 

Don’t get me wrong, the doing is still important, but knowing why you’re doing is equally as important, and in this case a perfect combo, as exercise has been linked to improved cognitive function.

Anyone remember the technique of flash card quizzes while jumping on a mini-trampoline?  We’ve known for years that exercise can enhance memory and learning capabilities.  Just imagine a gym class where the first half is activity based, and then off to the classroom to learn about your health, with freshly exercised bodies and minds ready to learn and retain.  Heck, set-up spin bikes in the classroom and learn while pedaling – let’s get the best of both worlds!

 

But I digress.

 

Fast forward through elementary, junior high, high school, post-ed, careers, families, etc…  years of not knowing or neglecting your health, and not knowing how to recover it.

Would we still be in the face of a “globesity” epidemic if we were all a bit more educated on our own health and bodies?

I propose that greater focus be put into K-12 health education that teaches (and evaluates student’s learning on) the intricacies of our body systems, structures and functions and how they relate to health, plus how to achieve great health and maintain it through proper exercise and nutrition.

And for all the alumni that will not benefit from the curriculum update?

If only you could have your own personal gym class, a tutor of sorts, to help you catch up.  Someone to educate you now, where school missed out…

Enter the Trainer.

There are a lot of great reasons for having a personal trainer – personal coach, motivator, educator, just to name a few…

Just sayin’.

j

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