Online gym not a good solution

Traditional gym classes are still superior in allowing students to be well-rounded and active.

by Brooke Bovee

Since elementary school, many of us have faced the excitement of being picked first or the fear of being taken last for a game in gym. However, we often neglect to consider how such excitement or fear can shape a person’s personality and build character.

Some Minneapolis high school students have had trouble earning their diplomas because the district used to require two semesters of physical education to graduate. Minnesota law requires only one semester.

Under a new plan for Minneapolis schools, students who have trouble fulfilling physical education requirements — whether because academic coursework occupies their time or they simply have difficulty passing a gym class — will be permitted to explore alternative options such as online gym.

It’s understandable to give a student more time to make up a failed class. But if you’re set for Harvard or Yale with all of your AP classes and can’t plan well enough to take a regular gym class or be involved in a sport, how good are your chances at an Ivy League school?

Gym and athletics continue to be supplanted by challenging courses. However, physical education and academics may be equally important when it comes to showing colleges that you are a well-rounded student. Regular physical activity can improve memory, attention span and learning ability. It can also reduce the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.

Gym class is not just a high school graduation requirement. It helps shape your personality, and it provides a great opportunity for socializing. Gym class can act as a tool to meet new people or relieve stress. In college, you could take a gym class or join an intramural team. When you exercise and converse with others, your brain releases endorphins that cause happiness.

If you’re worried about what potential employers might think of a gym class on your college transcript, you should know that some companies will pay you to get active, go to yoga classes or attend weight management seminars.

Many colleges offer online gym classes, but it’s a better idea to show up in person and take a break from the dense lectures that are commonplace on campus. Better yet, a real gym class will help you lose that “freshman 15.”