Appreciate your phys ed class

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Townsend Harris gym. The mere thought of it could make almost any Harrisite cringe. We’ve all been there—that initial disbelief when we first heard the rumors. Despite our desire to quit, we endured it.

The release of endorphins during exercise is supposed to contribute to our overall happiness and health. But why is it that students nowadays hold such strong animosity towards exercise? Its purpose is to make us feel better physically and emotionally. Students should accept that all the running and strenuous 8-to-1’s exist not to torture us, but to keep us healthy. Sitting in classes for six hours a day, it’s hard not to argue the need for balance.

Since the 80s, the obesity rate among young children has doubled and the obesity rate among adolescents has tripled.This is met by the decline of physical education in recent years. If more schools offered a consistent regimen of exercise (much like the one offered at our school), obesity would be less of a prevalent issue.

In elementary school, students typically play games that require minimal physical activity. The issue usually only gets worse by the time the students reach high school, as there are many high schools with students bodies much too large to have them move around in the gym, let alone exercise. In some schools, physical education classes are not even offered.

Luckily for us, Townsend Harris is not like most public schools in NYC, offering a variety of phys ed classes—from volleyball to basketball—that not only mandate exercise, but encourage improved skills and teamwork. You realize how important it is to have an actual gym class, one that provides the vital time to exercise in the mess that is a high school student’s life. Most adults would pay to have a gym membership. Why not enjoy the free one our school gives us?

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