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Editorial: PE should include exercise

If PE stands for physical education, it makes sense that the class include components to boost fitness and get the heart moving.

So a fitness movement based on CrossFit-style training has spread across the country, and now some school districts are adding versions of it to their physical education classes.

CrossFit Inc. certifies trainers and licenses gyms, and its regimen features high-intensity workouts involving weightlifting, calisthenics and cardio exercise. Some doctors and health professionals, however, worry that inexperienced students might suffer injuries, a perception that CrossFit is fighting in court.

A healthy dose of jumping jacks or a few laps around the gym would probably benefit most kids, especially in a state with uncomfortably high rates of overweight and obese children. According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the combined overweight/obesity rate for New Mexico kindergarteners in 2015 was 25.6 percent and for third-graders was 34.4 percent.

In a good sign, the obesity rate has steadily declined in recent years, although it may be leveling off. According to the New Mexico Department of Health, the obesity-only rate for third-graders has declined from 22.6 percent in 2010 to 18.9 percent in 2015.

Either way you look at it, New Mexico children, like so many adults, should get up and get moving. Perhaps a regular dose of good old-fashioned exercise at school will result in healthier children.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.

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