Did you love or hate your school P.E. class? The way you remember it could actually affect how you view exercise as an adult.
A recent study conducted by Iowa State University in Ames, and published in the Translational Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine, delved into how our first memories of movement and exercise— most often from an elementary school gym class— affect how we approach physical activity today.
The group surveyed more than 1,000 men and women (ages 18 to 40 years) on their earliest recollections of gym class, what their favorite or worst experiences were, and how much they exercise now.
Here’s what they found:
- Memories of gym classes were surprisingly “vivid and emotionally charged.”
- Consistent associations were made between unpleasant P.E. experiences as a child and a lingering resistance to exercise as an adult.
- Those who reported having liked gym classes claim to enjoy exercise and partake in it several times throughout the week.
It’s hard to imagine any child not enjoying gym class — as it’s often one of the only times a day they are not sedentary at a desk–but still, some study participants had very negative images of P.E. Common reasons for not liking it included anxiety about being chosen last for a team and discomfort in the locker room when having to change clothes (during older grades).
If you were lucky enough to have had a great time in P.E. as a child, chances are you are conscious about and happy to work exercise into your schedule. For those others, it’s never too late to find a sport or physically active hobby that you like even far into adulthood.
Experts say that the best kind of exercise is always doing something that you enjoy.
Make sure that you get at least 150 minutes per week of moderately intense activity, and please contact us if you think an injury may prevent you from starting a new workout.
(Adapted from The New York Times-Well)