Skipping Gym Class Could Be Damaging Your Health

Madeline Owens, Editor

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When students think of taking a physical education class, they tend to think of boring routines that they must follow every class period to maintain a good grade.

“In weights class, you do the same thing over and over again and it isn’t very exciting. I felt like I wasn’t gaining anything from it,” Junior Abby Bowersock said.

Although this is a common example of how students view exercise classes, the purpose of taking a physical education class is not to make the high school years more miserable. The goal of getting exercise in school is to promote healthy living and uplift a person’s overall mood.

Exercise allows our bodies to burn extra calories that we may be consuming throughout the day. This prevents weight gain and risks of diseases associated with higher body fat percentages,” Health teacher and coach Lori Oestreicher said. “ Not only does exercise improve your physique, but it also is a stress reliever and mood enhancer. Students enrolled in PE have 85 minutes where they can relieve their stress from other classes and then they also feel good about their accomplishments once class is over.”

Mental illness is often thought to be treated through taking antidepressants or by going to talk with a therapist. However, a more modern and holistic approach to fighting off anxious and stressful emotions is by being active on a regular basis.

Physical activity or exercise can treat mental illnesses in ways that are similar to medicine. However, physical activity is a more natural and holistic method of doing so.

“Find a time that you can commit to.  Find fitness activities that you genuinely enjoy.  You will have a better chance of achieving your workout goals if you are doing something you actually like. Putting together a motivating music playlist or finding a fitness friend can also be helpful ideas,” aerobics teacher and coach Amy Stubblefield said.

Simple and often overlooked ways of getting exercise, such as going for a walk in nature, is one way to get some fresh air and self-care time while also improving your fitness.

Getting proper exercise can also improve cognitive function for students over time. This can be especially helpful with certain students that struggle to focus and sit still.

In elementary school, getting to go outside and play on the playground was an experience that a lot of students would look forward to as a young child.

“I liked being with friends and playing tag on the playground,” sophomore Lorna Fickens said.

Recess is a time for kids to get their wiggles out and relax. Although getting your homework done on time is important, it’s also equally crucial to take breaks and get your body moving.

Since high school and college students don’t get recess breaks, they have to find their own ways to keep alert through lectures.

“Research indicates that the brain needs movement in order to focus. 83 minutes is too long to sit still for anybody. My class is more attentive and better focused after our pep step,” physical science teacher Amy Hughes said.

Whether students realize it or not, gym class and exercise can be beneficial to the overall health of anybody, with the right perspective.

 

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