Richard Simmons Aids School Physical Education

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Richard SimmonsIn an exclusive interview with Richard Simmons, Claus E. von Zastrow finds out about Richard Simmons’ desire to increase physical education in the public schools. You can hear the interview here:

Here is a transcript of the highlights of the interview:

I started to see a big difference in my emails and my letters. So many told us that parents were worried about their kids, that parents didn’t know how to motivate their kids at home to exercise, because a majority of the parents aren’t motivated to exercise. Some of them had no idea what P.E. their kids were taking. And I said, ‘This is a major problem.’ This was a year and a half ago.

Then we made friends with congressman Wong. We flew to Washington, and I was in a suit. I looked like I was going to a bar mitzvah. Wong dropped a bill there and it metamorphosed into the Fit Kids Act, which is instead of saying to the schools, ‘You’ve got to get P.E. back in the schools,’ we’re saying, as a multiple measure we want you to add physical activity there.

Now, in 2008, it’s all about who’s going to win the presidential election. So, right now, they aren’t looking at putting P.E. back into the school systems. That’s why now, my next grouping of press will be done to reach out to the remaining presidential candidates and tell them that they’ve got to start talking about P.E. in our school systems. No one should be walking into the Oval Office unless they have a plan to get our kids healthy and fit.

This has got to be a priority, because here’s the thing. What happens if [the bill] is not authorized before we get the next president. It’s just sits there. Now we’re talking almost a year. Another year of no physical activity for our children. It’s another year of where they’re being taken to the doctors and the healthcare is going through the roof. The whole thing is, to me, shocking.

You take the kids and ask them what they want to do and they are watching High School Musical, they want to dance, they own the music charts. When I go to schools, I teach cardio, strength training and toning and they love it. I play their music, their beat, and they love it. And I know after they finish teaching, that child has had a complete workout and maybe never a workout like that in their lives. The kids are in the school more than they are anyplace else, and that’s where they should get their physical activity.

We used to want to make sure that every kid was well-rounded and now we’re finding that they’re just rounded. When you take away all the other things that make up the personality of a child, you’re taking away their well-roundedness, to be able to have social skills with other kids. And to just play and have a little fun on a day that is filled with pressure.

Coming from one of those kids who did workout with Richard Simmons every day, I think physical activity should be taught in the schools in such a way that it can be done at home. I didn’t learn anything in grade school and junior high physical education that I could use at home. There was so much focus on team sports, which are useless when you are at home alone, that there was no time left over for teaching me how to run races or dance at home. I don’t think physical education in schools is the answer, but I love Richard Simmons so much that I wanted to let his voice be heard here.


2 Responses to “Richard Simmons Aids School Physical Education”

  1. Elaine Says:

    Oh, I hated PE so very very very much. I’m even inclined to say that it contributed to my LACK of interest in physical fitness in my younger years. It was all about sports, and being uncoordinated was just a nightmare. (Plus I spent junior high in adaptive PE, and while I met my best friend through that, it was otherwise obnoxious & embarrassing.)

    I took band, even though there was no marching band, in an effort to avoid PE in high school.

    The only PE classes I remember with any positive feeling at all were an aerobics/dance class and swimming.

    Something other than more PE classes, or an entirely different focus in PE, is needed if the goal is to get more kids physically fit. Hiking, walking, biking…heck, ultimate frisbee.

    Or, schools need to make sure that there’s plenty of recess time. I’ve heard of schools that canceled recess because they needed the time for high-stakes testing. Ugh.

    Sorry to rant; it’s just something that I still feel kinda intense about.

  2. lisa anthony Says:

    I’m with ya Richard. We had P.E. everyday for 45 minutes and a shower!! Our suites were dry-cleaned by the school and had our names embroidered on them. What has changed so much about humans in 40 years that allow no P.E.???? Yes, I’m outraged. And recess too! We are living in some kinda robotical era where children are deprived of nature,fitness and hooked on electronics.

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