Why Removing Fitness Tests From Schools Hurts Our Children
As reported by CNN, "California Governor Gavin Newsom has proposed suspending the physical fitness tests at the state's schools over concerns that they promote bullying and body discrimination. Under current state requirements, students in grades five, seven and nine are required to take a physical fitness test, which includes the one-mile run, curl-ups, push-ups and a measure of body mass index."
Let us have an honest conversation!
The state of California has been under the watchful eyes of many for the last few months but hopefully, a Wellness Professional can apply some insight into this recent development. As I cannot speak for everyone, what I can do is provide some health facts, my own personal experience with these tests as well as some common sense.
Push-ups, pull-ups, and the one-mile run have been a staple of our physical education courses for decades and for good reason since it tests our overall muscular endurance, strength, and aerobic capacity. As our children grow, these are in fact important elements to pay attention to and become aware of so we can make sure we provide our children with the healthiest life possible (while hopefully leading by example ourselves.)
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Regardless if these assessment tests continue or not, as long as our kids are moving frequently throughout each day, we should remain confident in knowing they are healthier than being isolated and sedentary. That's where our jobs as parents come in!
Where the problems arise with this latest suggestion from California Governor, Gavin Newsom, is when we promote feelings over the reality of a particular situation. Now, I am NOT condoning that we don't try to have compassion for our students when they are feeling bullied or intimidated to some degree. In fact, we should jump into action. However, this is another case of people wanting to apply a band-aid instead of curing the root cause of the issue. In this case, the root causes are WHY there is bullying to begin with as well as WHY our children's health is declining each year as opposed to getting healthier. Once again, I will challenge the parents on these two issues primarily.
I will go on record as saying the BMI testing is becoming obsolete due to its inaccuracy in provided health markers in specific body types and athletic levels. Thus, shouldn't be included in these tests, but, I will support the notion of continuing these assessment tests since they build AWARENESS of where we are health-wise. When I was at that age, I despised the one-mile run more than anything just because I knew how unfit I was. It was a much-needed reality check that I didn't receive from the adults in my life.
What built growth and confidence in my life was afterward when I would go on to participate in sports and become more active so I was prepared for the next test. At an early age, this established goal-setting into my life as well as the satisfaction that comes from achieving a goal when you put in the hard work to accomplish it. These are factors that cannot be achieved unless we are challenged!
To be blunt for a moment, the reality is this world isn't nice and is becoming increasingly competitive by the day as we compete against each other for jobs, scholarships, opportunities, and more. These aspects of life will never change and we have to raise our children to be ready for the adversities that lie ahead. That way, they are ready to compete for their respective passions and pursuits.
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"Coach Taz" aka Taylor Rodriguez is the owner and head coach of Taz Fitness & Nutrition. He is a Personal Trainer & Nutrition Coach located in Deltona, FL that coaches individuals online and in person. Taylor was a former partying pro wrestler turned fitness enthusiast after the economic downturn of 2008-2010. After losing almost 70 lbs, his new passion is to help struggling individuals find new confidence within themselves to achieve any goal that they see possible. To begin coaching with Taylor or to request a free consultation, contact us today.
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