The Buddy Bench Improves Inclusiveness During Recess Periods

Recess can be an excellent opportunity for children to engage in fitness activities. However for some children, recess isn’t fun – it’s a cruel reminder that they aren’t part of the in-crowd. Excluded from group games and activities, they stand on the sidelines watching and wishing they were part of the fun.

That’s where the “buddy bench” comes in. First used in Germany, the buddy bench is a simple idea that will help to improve inclusiveness during your school’s recess periods.

The buddy bench is a designated bench that you place on your school grounds. If a student has no one to play with, they sit on the bench. If students see someone sitting on the buddy bench, they know they should ask them to play or join the activities they are engaged in.
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The concept has proven to be extremely effective in schools across North America. The benches have been donated to schools by local businesses, parents, or interested charitable groups. They have also been built by the schools themselves as a group project. The benches can be painted and designed to be visible and can include all sorts of inclusive sayings and mottos.

It’s a great idea. Here’s a video about the buddy bench.

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Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

To check out the PE Update.com website, click here
Physical Education Update

[tags]physical education,buddy bench,recess,inclusiveness>[/tags]

Can You Use CrossFit In Physical Education Classes?

A trend in physical education has been to make PE classes less difficult so that every student can enjoy them. So here’s a concept that bucks that trend. It uses a fitness program called CrossFit to make special classes more difficult and challenging. And in at least one high school, it has been extremely successful.

The video above shows an example of how Crossfit concepts can be used in a high school physical education setting, as a program for students who want to work harder than in their traditional PE classes.

For those of you not aware of CrossFit, it’s a strength and conditioning program that employs a mix of aerobic, gymnastics, body weight and Olympic lifting exercises. The exercises are described as “constantly varied function movements” that employ some equipment that you might already have in your storage room, including dumbbells, barbells, jump ropes, gymnastics rings, medicine balls, pull-up bars, kettlebells, plyometric boxes, rowers, resistance bands, and mats. The program is flexible, however, and can be adapted to your existing equipment.

The following types of exercise might be used in a WOD ( or Workout of the Day – this term is used in the video): powerlifting, plyometrics, calisthenics, weight lighting, body-weight exercises, high intensity intervals, running, swimming, indoor rowing and more.

The goal is to improved fitness in 10 different areas: cardiovascular endurance, strength, stamina, speed, flexibility, power, balance, coordination, agility, and accuracy.

While Crossfit is an exercise philosophy, it’s also a competitive fitness sport, with the CrossFit Games conducted every year since 2007. It’s also a commercial enterprise, with over 10,000 affiliated gyms now using it in their exercise offering.

By the way, the term “AMRAP” which was also used in the video, means “as many reps as possible.”

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Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

To check out the PE Update.com website, click here
Physical Education Update

Get Out of Your Armchair Video Promotes the Benefits of Exercise

Here’s a funny video about the benefits of exercise and the disadvantages of inactivity. Produced by the European Commission and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), it’s titled “Go On, Get Out of Your Armchair.”

As you can see, those who have risen from their chairs have a considerable advantage in a soccer game (among other things).

Obesity and inactivity isn’t just a North American problem. It’s estimated that low levels of exercise are currently responsible for six of the seven leading risk factors for disease in Europe. The absence of physical exercise, coupled with unhealthy diet, has turned excessive weight into a major public health problem with over 50% of adults overweight or obese in EU countries. And it’s estimated that 22 million kids are overweight in the EU with this figure growing by 400,000 every year.

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Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

To check out the PE Update.com website, click here
Physical Education Update

[tags]physical education,inactivity,exercise,obesity>[/tags]

Nothing’s Impossible – A Soccer Team Builds Its Own Field in a Floating Village

Here’s a video that has gone viral – it’s based on the true story of a group of boys who lived on a floating village off the coast of Thailand. The boys wanted to play soccer, but had no place to play. So, they built a playing field on a floating dock. The boys played barefoot on the hard boards of the dock and spent a lot of time fetching their ball from the water. However, this team eventually began to play tournaments on the mainland and found a secret to success that was linked to their primitive facilities. Today, the team is one of the best in Thailand.

The big lesson for your students is that you don’t need the best facilities to develop as athletes or as a team. The other lesson is that your athletes should never be intimated just because their opponents have better uniforms, equipment or come from a larger town or school. The fact is imperfect facilities often develop aspects of athleticism aren’t often missed by those who seem to have everything.

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Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

To check out the PE Update.com website, click here
Physical Education Update

[tags]soccer in floating village,overcoming obstacles,physical education[/tags]

Irish Physical Activity Campaign

It’s not just North Americans who have begun to realize the importance of physical activity for children. Childhood obesity and inactivity is a phenomenon in every affluent, developed country in the world. Fortunately, some of these countries have launched public campaigns to correct the problem.

Here’s one example. This public advertisement, from Ireland, is called: Physical Activity – It All Adds Up. This video describes an easy way for children to get in an hour of exercise every day.

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Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

To check out the PE Update.com website, click here
Physical Education Update

[tags]physical education,physical activity campaigns,physical fitness for children>[/tags]

Obesity, Hunger, Inactivity and the Search for Hidden Answers

Hi Readers,

I just received this email from long-time reader and physical educator, David Flax of South Africa. It raises some interesting questions about our perception of the causes of obesity, hunger and lack of activity.

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“Hi Dick,

This is the newsletter written by the Principal of our High School… It is what Prof Tim Noakes had to say. Tim is the leading sports scientist in S.A. and the author of The Lore of Running. A kitkat is the name of a chocolate bar that we have. At most road races the participants are given a goodie bag with wine gums and a kitkat.

If you want to use it you are most welcome to it….Keep well

David”

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“Dear King David Community,

Boy Eating CandyThis week 250 school leaders, representatives from over 600 independent schools in this country and some from Australia and the UK, collected in Cape Town at the annual SAHISA conference to compare notes – in both formal and informal forums – on educational best practice. As is often the case, some of the most helpful discussions happened at mealtimes or in the bar before and after meals…

Many of the talks were inspiring, some challenging and I am happy to say that some of them very affirming. One, however, in particular is worth mentioning. It was delivered by professor Tim Noakes, Head of the UCT Exercise Science and Sports Medicine Research Unit and involved a book published in the early 1860s by a very fat undertaker, William Banting. (Banting’s information came from a certain Dr Willian Harvey, who in turn got his ideas from a Parisian, Dr Bernard.) This was the first recorded modern publication to do with a diet based on limiting the intake of refined, easily digestible carbohydrates.

At one point Tim Noakes held up the contents of the little goodie bag we had been presented at the beginning of the conference: a bag of wine gums and a kitkat, simple carbohydrates which he informed us would have so spiked our insulin and disrupted healthy nutrition that we would almost certainly notice a change in our energy absorption and our vitality for the rest of the day. Should we eat that amount of useless calories – he informed us – we could expect to increase our BMI significantly and experience a expansion of our mass by as much as 5kg in three months – just from consuming these two items every day. (I felt chastened – I had eaten the Kitkat before I got to the top of the stairs and the wine gums long before I eventually found my room.)

The really interesting part of Prof Noakes’s discussion though, was to do with the counter-intuitive notion that if insulin production results in one’s body storing as fat the energy presented as simple carbohydrates, the body would not then release this stored energy. This person would then be stimulated to feel hungry – since not enough energy was released. And also because the body was in conservation mode, there would be a significant drop in the fat person’s willingness to participate in physical activity.

Noakes’s point is that fatness causes hunger and lack of activity – and I had always believed that the causal links worked in the opposite direction: that one was fat because one ate too much and exercised too little. Surely this was as obvious as night following day?

On how many occasions did I hear my white-eye browed colleague tell all his pupils that we were lazy or stupid or incompetent, that we just could not…? I now know that he may have often been right, but I also know that he (and many others of his generation) was very often wrong and that he did a great deal of damage to many pupils.

From Noakes’s argument it is no great leap to question our educational models, to re-evaluate how learning happens and to think about what it is that makes a child a happy and successful pupil and a school leaver who takes on the world believing that she can.

There are so many occasions when the obvious and apparent answers not always the correct ones and that as parents and teachers, our job is sometimes think like fat undertakers and to look for processes and functions that are far from the evident. This may be to do with learning styles, recognizing different intelligences in children, helping children to plan or, as in my daughter’s case, simply to stop procrastinating for fear of failure and to get on with the job at hand.”

 

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Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

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[tags]physical education,obesity,childhood obesity,inactivity,exercise/code>[/tags]