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Should Fitness be a Course in High Schools?

I really don't know anyone that loved taking PE in high school, but what if the classes taught useful fitness skills rather than how to score bowling (isn't it all done electronically now anyway?) or being quizzed on the Super Bowl scores. Well, Wyoming High School (in Ohio) will be offering Lifetime Fitness to incoming freshmen and the class will teach students what a target heart rate is and how to find it. It will also get their hearts racing with cardiovascular activities, yoga and strengthening exercises. Strength and Conditioning will be offered to older students as an elective course, so they, too can experience a fitness-oriented class before getting out of high school.

What do you think about having fitness electives instead of just the required Physical Education (if the school even requires it anymore) or should schools just focus on teaching the basics for college, like English and Science?


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1missy 1missy 10 years
This is great. I think it is a great time to impress on the youth that it is not the size but the fitness that counts.
greenpaisley greenpaisley 10 years
Generally, I think placing alot more emphasis on fitness and nutrition in schools would probably do alot of good... However, I doubt that many schools (my high school included, which even started cutting music, language, and art classes) would be able to afford to start any good program. And really, it doesn't seem like it does a whole lot of good if the program is half-assed and doesn't really follow through with any goals... Take my high school/middle school for example - sure, we had phy-ed and one health class, but taking two scattered semesters of gym and one of health doesn't really do any good. Instead of making students view nutrition and fitness as an ongoing process, it turns it into a lame requirement that most people try to get out of the way as soon as possible... or find some way to avoid altogether. I also think that if any program were to be really successful, it would have to be a *really* long ongoing process... i.e. starting early, maybe as early as kindergarten, and continuing every year until graduation. Sorry this post is so long!
Daisy6264 Daisy6264 10 years
Yes, it's a good idea.
Kaciegrrl Kaciegrrl 10 years
We had to take a Health Class, which was taught by a 70 year old PE coach, who smoked 1 pack a day - not exactly the picture of fitness. I was a dancer in high school, so in lieu of PE, I had practice for 2 hours at the end of every day, which counted for class credit. Otherwise, I would have been interested to take a Fitness class, maybe on that was one part textbook i.e. tips and theories, and the other part actual exercise, like a step class or circuit training. If they made PE more fun and about promoting wellness with real exercise and good information instead of "Let's all go outside and walk the track for 60 minutes" every single day, kids would get more out if it!
susanec susanec 10 years
I like it but I also like the idea of being able to substitute other sports and activities. I was on dance team in high school and practiced 1-2 hours before school depending on the morning, then for a period during school (getting credit) after school, plus taking PE. We were more physically active than most of the other sports. It's definitely good to have and I did take a health class as well, in addition to extra bio classes. There should be happy mediums. I actually went on to study health science though (not fitness) and work in a health related field.
kinkobaby kinkobaby 10 years
how abt our government gives more money for school subsidised lunch programs with healthy FRESH organic food and then maybe throw some money at a fitness course? how can teaching kids in poverty districts to eat healthy help when all they can afford is 99 cent wonder bread?! do you know how much it costs to shop at whole foods?! PA-lease!
BeautyXRush BeautyXRush 10 years
Well in my high school PE is required. We did sports activities, but we also ran 2 days a week. So it wasn't all that useless. We also had to ability to take classes like Speed and Agility, strength and conditioning, and a lot more. I was in Strength and Conditioning class for to trimesters, and I gained 10 lbs of lean muscle.
SU3 SU3 10 years
We had classes like that in high school - of course as an elective. I think it's a great idea - and the class was really popular. I remember everyone wanting to sign up for it..
puddinpie puddinpie 10 years
I think this is a great idea as well. My parents instilled healthy eating habits for me, so even though I now cook for a living (really rich food, and I dine out a lot) I know I have to balance it out by eating healthier on those days I'm not eating a 6 course meal at a restaurant (like I did yesterday.) My bf, on the other hand, grew up eating very unhealthfully, and he does not even KNOW how bad some things are for him. He eats white bread a lot, and thinks it is "healthy" even though I've tried to explain MANY times that refined flour is not good for you. Some people just don't have the knowledge, and it would be great if they could be taught this stuff in schools. It's sad that being 20-30 lbs overweight seems to be the 'norm' in America.
cereal_please cereal_please 10 years
This is a great idea, but it's not as if it's innovative. I live in Illinois, the only state that makes 4 years of physical education mandatory, and my school offers PE electives to juniors and seniors, which include fitness, strength and conditioning, and nutrition/fitness/anatomy. It's awesome, but my district has had this for the last ten years at least.
JLew1982 JLew1982 10 years
I took P.E. because it was mandatory and I got nothing out of it! I think what's more important is teaching children how to EAT and keep them away from McDonald's! I feel like we have an obligation to teach them about what they're putting in their bodies.
AMP AMP 10 years
This is a great idea!!! Most kids don't realize why eating McDonald's is bad for them. They think theyre invincible at that age, so they don't care. Same with exercise- they don't realize how good it is for their bodies and how important it is for life. I think all HS's should do this.
purplesugar purplesugar 10 years
My high school had both of these classes and a few other phys ed electives....I didn't take any of them though....but in required freshman p.e. we did do aerobics (Richard Simmons!) and things like that along with the team sports...I think its a no-brainer that schools should be doing this with the way obesity rates are going.
Tugars Tugars 10 years
I know I wish they had taught it when I was in school.
bookgirl bookgirl 10 years
Sounds a lot better than what we did. We either played volleyball (seriously, for about 4 months straight) or mat ball (like kickball, but indoors). These sound way better and more about fitness instead of competetive sports (I'm no good at sports, but would have liked aerobics or yoga).
ktownpolarbear ktownpolarbear 10 years
at my high school, 2 years of PE were required and it was kind of useful. Kind of not. Depending on how motivated the student is.
rinet05 rinet05 10 years
at my school we have 3 hours of PE in a week which is my favorite 'class' ever because we do all kind of sports. I'm only 8th grade but in 6th grade we already started learning about our target heart rates and we still focus alot on them when we do track or any other sports. we have a lot of cardiovascular aswell, we do soccer, track, hockey, softball, basketball, volleyball, gymnastics and more so we really get our heart rates up and we have about 3 lessons where we do muscular endurance and stuff, and we learn all about our heart aswell so i'm all for this, not only is it my favorite thing in school to do but you learn aswell because you do fun activities while you learn
llendril llendril 10 years
yes! i'm 24, and only just now started to understand the importance of eating well and keeping fit. i think that if i had been taught it in high school, i would have been on track much much earlier (and would not have stuffed myself so much with the buffet-style meals in college).
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 10 years
I would have gotten so much more out of gym class (and enjoyed it more) if the option to do yoga or aerobics had been given to me, instead of being forced to play sports that I was no good at, such as football and baseball.
CestLaVie CestLaVie 10 years
I think as long as it is an option and not forced it is a good idea, at least give choices for a PE class instead of mandatory gym.
theworldloves theworldloves 10 years
At our high school, we are required to take fitness all four years. I think it's great because for four days a week, we do two days of strength training, one day of pilates [or some other form of group fitness], and a day of cardio workout. Each week, the coaches change the amount we do, so we increase our strength and endurance. I don't mind having fitness four days a week, as long as it's helping me!
cubadog cubadog 10 years
I am with you Pink. No one is saying get rid of the Algebra class and have a PE class. Personally I think if some of these lower income kids did learn about good nutirion they could help educate their parents about what they should be buying at the store or the Farmers Market where produce tends to be a lot cheaper than at a lot of grocery stores. It has been shown that providing PE and health classes just like music helps kids to excel in other parts of their life!
ccsugar ccsugar 10 years
I know what you mean bnelson... So many elementary-age kids are too overweight. When I was in elementary school (I am 25 now), most kids were at a normal weight, there were only a handful who were overweight. We loved PE, we loved running around at recess, we loved playing outside together after school, in the summer, in the winter when it was snowing... Seems like kids now just sit at home eating junk and playing playstaion, wii, etc. It's honestly depressing! They need to learn the negative impact this will have!!!
ccsugar ccsugar 10 years
Pinkgirl you took the words out of my mouth! :) Thanks for articulating it.
Pinkgirl88 Pinkgirl88 10 years
Idon't know Cravin..It's an elective class offering-- i don't think that anyone is arguing to get rid of algebra BUT... this generation is the first generation to have a shorter life expectancy than there parents--- and that is basically related to the obesity epidemic in schools. So in that regard it is just as important as any other class. i have a good job- but don't use algebra at ll- ever in it. i do make the proper Diet and fitness decisions daily though. I think a lot of people don't have the right tools at their disposal to know how to eat healthy... parents may think that giving tehir kid certain foods are healthy when in fact they are far from it... why not give the kids the tools needed and start them excersizing something that they can do for life. I have very strong feelings about this and in fact my dream job would involve teaching childrent he best way to eat and live a healthy lifestyle while creating positive self esteem and worht regardless of shape. So escuse my super opnionated self. :P
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