By Ken Reed
There has long been a fairly popular perception that schools should be about “the life of the mind” and that physical activities in general, and physical education in particular, should have nothing to do with the learning process.
Given all the research data showing a positive relationship between exercise and the brain that’s simply an erroneous perception.
The reality is the body and brain are intimately connected. When we exercise we are not only exercising the body but we’re also stimulating the areas of the brain responsible for cognitive functioning. In fact, when we engage in cardiovascular exercise we’re actually growing brain cells. That’s why Dr. John Ratey, author of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, calls exercise “Miracle-Gro for the brain.”
When you exercise your body you’re simultaneously preparing your brain for learning. It’s as simple as that. There is no separation. The body and brain are one. That needs to be communicated on an ongoing basis.
“Fitness-based physical education can make students healthier, smarter and better-behaved,” said Phil Lawler, widely considered the Father of the New P.E.
“That’s proven. It’s not a theory. Now the challenge is to help every educator, school board member and parent become aware of that fact and fully understand what it can mean for our children. Most educators still aren’t aware of this powerful stuff.”
We’re living in a time when physical education programs are being cut or deemphasized, and new elementary schools are being built without gyms. The research says we should be doing the complete opposite. Physical education, intramural sports, and lifetime physical activities — group and individual, all need to be emphasized more, not less, in our nation’s schools. Similarly, movement needs to be incorporated into the traditional classroom during subjects like math, language and science.
If we want our children to be healthier, perform better academically, and have fewer emotional and behavioral problems, we need to get them out of their desk chairs more often and moving their bodies on a regular basis.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #32 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Prolific Author Joe Posnanski Joins the Show – Posnanski is one of America’s best sportswriters and has twice been named the best sports columnist in America by the Associated Press Sports Editors. We chat about his new book, “Why We Love Baseball,” his new Substack newsletter called Joe Blogs, and we cover topics including how baseball treats its fans, MLB’s numerous rule changes this past season, how the sport can become more fan-friendly, the greatness of Negro Leagues champion Buck O’Neil, and much more.
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Episode #31 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Foul Ball Safety Is Still an Important Issue at Ballparks – Our guests are Jordan Skopp, founder of FoulBallSafety.com and Greg Wilkowski, a Chicago based attorney. We discuss the historical problem of foul balls injuring fans and why some teams are still hesitant to put up protective netting in some minor league and college baseball parks.
Episode #30 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The State of College Athletics with Dr. David Ridpath: Problems and Potential Solutions – Ridpath is a sports administration professor at Ohio University and a member of The Drake Group, a college sports reform think tank.
Episode #29 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Honorable Tom McMillen Visits League of Fans’ Sports Forum – McMillen is a former All-American basketball player, Olympian, Rhodes Scholar and U.S. Congressman. We discuss the state of college athletics today.
Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world. We discuss problems in youth sports today.
Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- Reed Appears on Ralph Nader Radio Hour League of Fans’ sports policy director, Ken Reed, Ralph Nader and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner discussed a variety of sports issues on Nader’s radio show as well as Reed’s updated book, How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan. Reed's book was released in paperback in February, and has a new introduction and several updated sections.
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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