Physical and health education is a significant aspect of a wholesome education around the world. Ministries of education all over the globe incorporate physical and health education into its curriculum. This clearly indicates that both physical and health education are key aspects in the development of an individual. Physical education is defined as a course of education learning that in a encourages play or psychomotor movement exploration setting. It includes training and maintaining physical fitness.
Physical education is also about sharpening overall cognitive abilities and motor skills via athletics, exercise and various other physical activities like martial arts and dance. Physical education in schools aims to help students become physically active through involvement in physical activity and fitness. The objectives of learning physical education are to enhance and sustain the fitness of an individual based on health and motor learning. Besides that, an individual will attain the basic skills in movement and games based on his or her ability. In addition to that, physical education encourages an individual to engage in exercises and physical activities on a daily routine basis. Physical education also encompasses health and safety procedures. As such, an individual will be able to apply the said knowledge in the various physical activities that he or she is involved in. Physical activity also inculcates self-discipline and builds personality as well as helps an individual to make wise decisions in life. The said objective of physical education then brings forth a myriad of benefits to an individual. Among the many benefits of physical education are as follows:
Physical education highlights the importance of preserving ones physical fitness. With the knowledge of physical education, an individual is more aware on how to lead a healthy lifestyle through a regular fitness routine. As such, one’s muscular strength is developed; stamina is increased and therefore stretches their physical abilities to an optimum level. This in turn keeps them healthy and energized as a heightened physical fitness level promotes the absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream which leads to a better functioning digestive system and an overall balance in all physiological processes. Besides that, motor skills of an individual are also developed and improved through physical education. It builds the foundation of practicing motor skills for games and sports such as volleyball, basketball, tennis, and swimming, among others. For example, while playing badminton, an individual is required to concentrate on his ability to swing the racket in time to hit the shuttlecock. This brings order and discipline to body movements as well as improves body posture. Hand-eye coordination is also enhanced.
In addition to that, physical education promotes team-spirit and sportsmanship through team sports. This is because during team sports, individuals are required to work together as an entity to ensure the success of the team. It builds confidence and character as an individual as well as a team as they learn to communicate with teammates and move to help one another as a team no matter in victory or defeat. Through physical education individuals are aware that sports can be used as a form of stress reliever and a source of enjoyment. This is because sports and exercise triggers the release of endorphins. Endorphins are neurotransmitters or chemicals that are produced in the pituitary gland and hypothalamus of the brain that relax the body and relieves stress but promoting a sense of well-being. It is also important for catharsis reasons with mean releasing of energy, emotion, tension or frustration and some people let off their extra steam by participating in various games and sports which are part of physical education. This way physical education helps in checking juvenile delinquency.
On the other hand, health education is defined as a social science that draws from the biological, environmental, psychological, physical and medical sciences to promote health and prevent disease, disability and premature death through education-driven voluntary behaviour change activities. It concerns itself with the total well-being of the individual, encompassing physical, mental, social, emotional and spiritual beliefs. There are three areas within Health Education namely health instruction, the provision of health services and environmental health. It also involves the development of an individual, group, institutional, community as well as systemic strategies to improve health knowledge, attitudes, skills and behaviour. The main aim of health education is to positively inculcate a health savvy attitude in individuals as well as communities no matter how the environment or working conditions are so that it does not have an adverse influence on their health. Health education is important because it further enhances the health status of individuals, families, communities, states and hence the entire nation.
Health education indefinitely improves the quality of life for many people as well as contributes to the reduction of premature deaths. Indirectly, health education reduces the costs (both financial and human) incurred for medical facilities, insurances. The main cause of ill-health in this country and elsewhere is highly due to ignorance of simple health rules such as hygiene or of indifference to their practical application. Health is indeed one of the greatest importance and an indispensable factor in life. Without it a man becomes burden to others and useless to himself. In other words, health is the basis of individual and social welfare. Just like physical education, health education possesses benefits of its own as follows:
Through health education, individuals learn how to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. This is because they are exposed to more information regarding the causes, effects and the general preventive measures of diseases. They also obtain the knowledge on what to do and how to react during and outbreak of an epidemic in their country. A number of diseases have their unique prevention methods that people should be aware of, and education in this issues help lessen the risk of being affected by such diseases. Through health education, an individual would know the importance of washing hands before meals, wearing a mask when having flu or how getting vaccinated is imperative for contagious diseases.
Besides that, health education also encourages and individual to maintain a balanced diet. A balanced diet is a diet which comprises of all seven classes of food: carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, minerals, fibre, water and fats. Consuming a diet which is balanced enhances the immune system and provides nourishment and strength to an individual. He or she will be able to carry out daily activities with ease and not feel lethargic before the day is over. It also promotes cell repair which is vital to maintain the longevity of the body. Eating the right food which is rich in vitamins and minerals boosts the immune system and prevents illnesses such and coughs and colds.
In addition to that, individuals with the knowledge of health education know how to refrain from indulging in an unhealthy lifestyle such as smoking, consuming drugs and alcohol and also having a promiscuous lifestyle. They are well aware of the adverse effects of drugs and alcohol on the organs of the body and how it can deteriorate the lifespan. They are also informed on how sharing needles for drugs and a promiscuous behaviour can lead to diseases such as Acquires Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and also Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) such as herpes zoster, gonorrhoea and many others. Smoking causes all kinds of cancer.
An individual who has health education will know the importance of warming up and warming down before and after exercise. This will help reduce the risk of an injury as well as improve athletic performance. Warming up prepares muscles for strenuous activity, increases muscle efficiency, reduces potential for muscle pulls, improves reaction time and improves the speed of movement of muscled and ligaments while cooling down relieves lactic acid and reduces DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). Health savvy people also avoid health diseases such as diabetes mellitus, myocardial infarction and stroke. This is because with their balanced diet and physical workout routine they maintain a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI). The BMI is used to determine the amount of fat present in your body. A BMI over 30 is considered morbidly obese, and indicates an increased likelihood for certain cancers, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis. BMI can be calculated by using the following formula:
BMI = [ height(m) x height(m) ] / weight(kg)
In conclusion, the importance of both physical education and health education cannot be denied. Both these aspects play an important role in the making of a wholesome individual. When a person is well aware of how their body works and how to look after it through the physical and health aspects, the chances of improving their lifestyle and prolonging their life are heightened. As such, the more health conscious individuals existing, the better it is for the society at large.
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