Originally created 10/15/02

Forcing P.E. on students won't make them stay fit

As I reflect on my freshman year, many memories come to mind. The challenge of high school, the cute but unattainable senior guys. Oh, and yes, the sweaty smell of gym socks.

I could not escape one of the most dreaded classes in high school: physical education.

The mere thought of running around and sweating off my makeup was horrifying enough. Doing it every day for half an hour for half of the school year was not pleasant at all.

In most local counties, high schoolers are required to take a semester of physical education and a semester of health studies.

I believe the mandatory P.E. classes are a lousy attempt at making teens become more physically active. Running around the track for an hour will probably not change a teen's feelings about exercise. They'll probably still plop down on the sofa after school every day and not move a muscle until dinnertime.

If teens feel like exercising and becoming physically fit, they can do it on their own time. The government should take other steps to get teens healthier, such as offering dance or aerobic classes as electives and making healthier foods available in the cafeteria.

Yet some teens appreciate the physical education class and like the idea of it being mandatory.

"So many kids are lazy, and exercise is the best habit to get into," said Ashley Baum, a sophomore at Lakeside High School.

Whatever your viewpoint, never let it deter you from getting exercise. You have only one body: keep it healthy.

Teen Board member Abby Oakley, 16, is a junior at Lakeside High School.


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