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Thinking of skipping P.E class again? Here’s why you shouldn’t.

Achieving and maintaining a healthy fitness level, partnered with the proper diet, is the formula to live longer. Sacrificing a few hours of your day to participate in gym class or any physical activities would help you to accomplish that goal.

Physical Education (PE) is necessary for high school students because it develops students’ competencies and health. PE courses have immense potential for teens’ health and wellness. It plays an integral role in a student’s overall health because of the many benefits it offers. 

However, not everyone knows about these benefits, and their lack of knowledge leads them to fabricate numerous negative comments and stereotypes that potentially steer teens away from taking PE classes. 

Here are four out of the many reasons why you should think twice before you skip gym class again.

P.E promotes a healthier and active lifestyle throughout the school body.

This is undoubtedly the most cliché slogan when a conversation about the importance of physical education comes up. The household belief of ‘the more you exercise, the healthier you will be’, has been word of mouth for decades. Over the years, several scientific studies have provided evidence that proves this statement is factual and relevant. 

According to a study conducted by NCBI, evidence suggests that increasing physical activity and physical fitness may improve academic performance. It also suggests that the time in the school day dedicated to recess, physical education class, and physical activity in the classroom may also develop academic performance. The study further suggests that early research in South Australia focused on measuring the benefits of physical activity and physical education during the school day. The benefits noted included increased physical fitness, decreased body fat, and reduced risk for cardiovascular disease.

P.E allows students to express themselves in different ways.

Some of us excel at some things and others excel in others. P.E provides students with an opportunity to showcase their talents in different areas. This way, it allows students to explore different fields and potentially find a new field they would be passionate for. 

A few notable examples are the professional athletes around the world. LeBron James, Selena Williams, Lionel Messi, are some of the famous names who used P.E class as an outlet to hone their skills in their respective sports.  

P.E improves mental health and reduces stress and anxiety levels.

As unusual and ironic it may sound that a course whose focal point is physical activities can positively impact a person’s mental health, several professionals and studies prove that PE can do just that.

Kathleen Douglas, a long-time PE teacher for Alpha Secondary School in Burnaby, B.C, believes that PE greatly develops your overall health when done properly. “Not only do you learn how to take care of your body and how to stay fit, but it is also scientifically proven to improve your mental health if you do things properly,” she said. 

And if that’s still not enough to convince you, maybe this will. In an article by Mental Health Foundation UK, they stated that doing physical activities has a huge potential of enhancing a person’s health and well-being. “Participation in regular physical activity can increase our self-esteem and can reduce stress and anxiety. It also plays a role in preventing the development of mental health problems and in improving the quality of life of people experiencing mental health problems,” they stated.

P.E enriches students’ values and improves academic performance

Many of the academic courses that students engage in require higher levels of concentration, time, and dedication. PE class helps to ease off the academic load of the students by offering them a mental break by playing games, doing yoga, or other activities.

Chase Poizer, a grade 11 student at Alpha Secondary School, was asked to share his experience with PE class, what he learned, and how it affects his performance in other academic courses. “I’ve learned different values and skills such as teamwork, sportsmanship, and leadership because of P.E class,” he said. He also believes that some form of P.E, whether it be weight training, yoga, or active living should be mandatory throughout high school. He said that being active is really important and this way it gives the students options for a way of daily exercise.“P.E also gives me a mental break from my academic courses as well as giving me my needed daily physical exercise. Moreover, I also noticed some positive physical differences,” he added.

According to a report by CDC, studies suggest that physical activity can have an impact on students’ cognitive skills, attitudes, and academic behavior, all of which are important components of improved academic performance. These include enhanced concentration and attention as well as improved classroom behavior.

Not only is PE class important for your overall health, a good break from academic courses, and a good way to express yourself, it’s also fun once you take the time to enjoy it. And if you’re still unsure whether or not you should take PE next year, listen to what Ms. Douglas has to say.

“Yes. You should take P.E and it should be mandatory up until grade 12, if not until university. P.E is important for high school students because you learn lessons and values in this class that you use for a lifetime.”

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