Catching up on missed physical education classes

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EUGENE, Ore. – Distance learning during the pandemic can be hard on the mind and body, and for students who primarily exercise during physical education classes, weight gain can be a problem .

According to Dr. Craig Lash, a pediatrician with the Oregon Medical Group, there has been a noticeable trend in weight gain in his young patients.

“We noticed a few pounds gain in weight over what they should be based on their growth charts, at moderate weight gain,” he said. “I think this is due to the lack of physical education classes.”

He said he had seen up to 10% weight gain in some cases. The consequences of those extra pounds can last beyond childhood in the form of diabetes, high blood pressure and other symptoms.

If you are concerned that your child is not getting enough exercise, there may be signs that can help you deal with the problem before it becomes a problem.

“If they start to pull back a bit, they feel tired, they can’t do as much as they used to,” Lash said.

Students should get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. Family walks, bike rides, and runs can be great ways to boost your child’s blood. Indoor activities can also do the trick.

“The sit-ups, push-ups, jumping jacks and that kind of kinesthetic physical education,” he said.

According to Lash, younger students mainly exercise during recess. Playgrounds can still be a safe environment for children during the pandemic if they play during off-peak hours and practice good hand hygiene.


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