National Physical Education and Sport Week is held from May 1 to May 7 every year. It’s a week-long celebration of giving importance to fitness, a healthy lifestyle, and a sound mind and body. This event highlights physical education and sports activities that kids and adults could engage in. Moreover, this also helps one to reinvigorate and reactivate their interest in physical activities despite their busy schedules. From exercising for a couple of minutes every day to joining team sports all week, you’ll have limitless options to keep your body in check, socialize, and have fun.
History of National Physical Education and Sport Week
The origin of physical education in schools traces back to 386 B.C.E. Plato and Aristotle examined the relationship between the human body and mind. Plato later on incorporated this in his school called “Akademia” or “the Academy.” He recognizes the importance of physical education as part of human education, and how the body functions in harmony with the human mind. In Plato’s education room, he taught students that there is no superiority between the body and the mind — both elements are equal.
The concept of modern physical education didn’t start until the early 1800s. During that time, it was deemed that physical health through fitness is an important component that should be part of every school. The first school to integrate physical education into its curriculum was “The Round Hill School” in Northampton, Massachusetts back in 1823. It was gymnast Friedrich Jahn who opened the first gymnasium to introduce balance beams, parallel bars, rings, and high bars to students. Gymnastics classes continued in 1825. He also began teaching students outdoor physical education activities as well as creating the first gymnastics club for the youth and adults. His contributions to physical education earned him the title of the father of modern physical education.
In the early 20th century, educators like John Dewey, Stanley G. Hall, and Edward Thorndike gave importance to children’s play and physical education in school systems. In the 1920s, many states passed legislation for schools to require physical education. By the 1950s, there was a steady growth of physical education in many public schools in the U.S.
Today, physical education is a standard part of every school curriculum. Ranging from gymnastics classes, sports events, and team games, the growth of sports and fitness is seen to promote a sound body and mind, just like what Plato had envisioned.
National Physical Education and Sport Week timeline
Plato introduces physical education in his school “Akademia” to promote the harmony of the mind and body.
Friedrich Jahn — the father of modern physical education — opens the first gymnasium at The Round Hill School in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Catherine Beecher publishes the book “A Treatise on Domestic Economy for the Use of Young Ladies at Home and School” —advocating the inclusion of women in physical education.
Physical education is now a staple in most public schools across the U.S.
National Physical Education and Sport Week FAQs
What skills do physical education teachers need?
Great leadership, excellent communication skills, athleticism, and a thorough understanding of the mind and body.
What is the most popular sport in the world?
With a following of more than four billion people worldwide, soccer is the most popular sport in the world.
What is the hardest sport?
Based on the degree of difficulty, boxing is deemed the hardest sport.
National Physical Education and Sport Week Activities
Participate in team games
Call your friends to play rounds of your favorite sports. From basketball, and volleyball, to badminton, it’s the week to have fun and socialize while breaking a sweat and staying fit.
Grab your jump ropes and hula hoops
If you’re busy at home and don’t have the time to play outdoor sports, you need not worry. Grab your jump ropes and hula hoops and do a couple of rounds of cardio exercises for several minutes daily. You’ll be surprised by how invigorated you’ll feel if you do this every day for one week.
Try a new sport
If you’ve always wanted to try a new sport but never had a chance to, now is the time. Attend classes of frisbee or croquet and make this week all about learning something new.
5 Interesting Facts About Exercise
Age gracefully with exercise
Studies show that people who don’t exercise regularly will lose 80% of their muscle control by the age of 65.
Walking is the best exercise
Stepping a foot forward requires 200 muscles in your body, hence making it the simplest yet best exercise you can do.
Physical education relieves stress
According to “SHAPE America,” physical education helps students overcome stress and boost their self-confidence.
P.E in England
In England, it is mandatory for pupils ages seven, eight, and nine to do two hours of exercise a day.
Enhances school performance
In 2007, researchers found that students who had 56 hours of physical education a year scored higher in the English Arts standardized test compared to those who only had 28 hours.
Why We Love National Physical Education and Sport Week
It improves overall health
Staying physically active is a good way to combat diseases like diabetes and other cardiovascular illnesses. Physical education makes it mandatory for people to engage in sports and fitness, making it compulsory for everyone to prioritize their health.
We love the rush
The rush that physical activities give is a perfect way to start the day. Start with a power walk and finish it by jogging vigorously. You’ll be surprised by how much energy you’ll have by the end of the day.
It’s a good way to socialize
Team sports are a good way to meet friends. Not only are you exercising but you’re also having fun. It’s a good way to meet new people who can be a part of your physical fitness routine in the future.
National Physical Education and Sport Week dates