How can schools help to get the nation moving?

Regular Physical Exercise

Few people would challenge the fact that doing regular physical exercise improves our mental health as well as our physical well being. Yet research from the British Heart Foundation has revealed that a third of the population still isn’t doing the recommended 20 minutes of exercise each week. It’s worrying enough that adults aren’t getting enough exercise, but the British Journal of Sports Medicine has revealed that even energetic seven-year-olds spend half of their day sitting.

So, why aren’t more of us being active and being good roles models for our children to take part in physical activities? And how can schools help to buck this trend?

school help get nation moving

Of course, most of us live extremely busy lives with family and work responsibilities taking up a big chunk of our time. And then there’s the issue of accessing facilities to take part in activities that are close to home or work, and are open when we need them

If we’re to become more active and also encourage our children to take up sports, more opportunities need to be available. They must be easy to get involved with – the right club, at the right time, in the right location are vital.

This is where schools, colleges and academies can play a vital role in helping to get the nation moving.

Schools will, quite rightly, be focused on their core academic purpose, while at the same time juggling a host of issues, from squeezed budgets, and recruiting teachers to exam results and the transition for pupils moving from primary to secondary school. So, letting out their facilities may not be high up on their list of priorities.

But, by allowing groups and people from the local area to hire out their facilities, schools can help to get the community excited about exercise, while also generating their own income stream – the perfect solution to the imminent budget cuts.

They have fantastic sports pitches, halls and classrooms which, for the most part, are lying empty and unused on evenings, weekends and during school holidays. These places are at the heart of local communities and sometimes have better facilities than the nearest leisure centre.

So, there is a lot of value in encouraging more to open their doors and become hubs for their pupils and local people to get their fix of exercise in a fun and engaging way.

With summer just around the corner, now is the perfect time to up our exercise levels and get the kids involved too – rather than them spending hours in front of the TV.

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