Gym: Necessary or a Waste of Time?

Athletic people working out.

Athletic people working out.

Emma Wheeler and Ciara Conkey

 Does your school force you to take a physical education class? Do you feel like this is outdated and that there are multiple options for physical education beyond gym class?  You could be on to something. Gym needs updated.

We could replace gym class with other classes such as weight lifting, aerobics, yoga, show choir, band and sometimes sports. Many of these classes can already be taken in the place of gym.  Could you imagine not having to take a physical education class? See what your school offers instead or talk to your principals to get something added to the replacements.

A yoga class stretching.

The History

 Physical education classes haven’t always been mandatory for students to take. Can you believe that? Student’s enjoying their high school years didn’t always have to participate in gym, but it was a choice. Even to this day, not all schools make physical education classes mandatory, but these schools provide multiple different choices for physical education too. By doing this almost every student still takes a physical education class, because they want to try it or maybe they are interested in that one class. Take for example,In Utica, Michigan, public city schools have swimming classes and driving education classes; they are optional classes that take the place of gym.

Physically and Mentally

 Most kids go to bed early and are still tired and exhausted when they wake up. Going to physical education classes could possibly wake the students up, but with one good thing comes a bad thing. Physical hygiene, most students get all sweaty and don’t have enough time to shower after their class and still make it to their next class on time. Being physically active in a physical education class will help the student be more active during other classes and not fall asleep, which will show improvements on ones grade. A student’s brain works differently than an adult’s brain because their brain is not fully developed yet. After physical activities our brains are more awake and take in more knowledge then just waking up and walking into the school, this could highly improve test scores. 

Nonathletic Students

 Some students aren’t athletic and feel like they can’t participate in the activities. Everyone should have other options like:

  • Aerobics- In this class you will work to stretch and strengthen your muscles. There is a bunch of small exercises, but you won’t have to play games like dodge ball, kickball, etc..
  • Cross Training- In this class you will workout until you’re ready to drop out of high school. This class is for the students who want to be fit, but don’t want to waste time playing games.
  • Band- Instead of taking a physical education class you can play in the band. You will have multiple different choices of instruments to play and it will still count as a physical education class without having to be in one!
  • Show Choir-Without getting hit in the face with a doge ball or falling on your butt onto the gym floor, you could be spending time going to competitions, having concerts, and singing. We all really love to do that.
Injuries often occur due to violent sports such as dodge ball.

Some students find physical education classes hard, while others find it easy. Students should be able to make a choice whether they want to do these classes or not, because then they will be happier and they will participate in the class. If you want the students engaged, give them what they see as engaging choices.