Physical education proves worthy

Physical Education classes can offer a convenient way to get fit without spending your own free time at the gym.

Students looking to get physically fit need to keep in mind the wide range of activities available to them, so that they can select the best fitness plan for them.

Athletic director Lisa Muzinieks explains that there is no one way to become fit and that doing only one activity will not lead to a well-rounded work out plan.

“You cannot allow yourself to be boxed into thinking that there is only one right way of doing something. If that were the case there would only be one way to coach an Olympic champion, only one way to coach a football team, there would only be one kind of exercise you should do,” Muzinieks said. “[Physical fitness] is not about, ‘I am only going to run,’ it is about, ‘I am going to run but I am going to run in different ways, I am still going to stretch. I am still going to do core work.’ That is what it means to be physically fit. The physical fitness test is not just one test, it is five or six tests. So you cannot say that there is only one way to do something. There is no one way to do anything in life.”

People looking to get fit should pick activities that interest them so that they are more likely to continue doing that activity, according to Health and Fitness teacher Scott Campbell.

“That is really why we offer that many different classes; because not all people enjoy exercising in the same way,” Campbell said. “Probably the most important thing with exercise is, in order to maintain it and continue doing it on a daily basis, you need to enjoy the activity that you are doing. I do think that it is really important what PE class the student signs up for. Ideally, that they are going to get into a class that meets their needs and their specific interest in those types of exercise.”

Exercise can also improve your academics as well, as is explained by Rick Wells, Director of Health, Fitness and Athletics for the Puyallup School District.

“There are a ton of studies that show that people who are fit and active do better in school. The fitness element is huge; fitness extends to other [parts] of life other than just school work. You live longer, feel better and your mental aptitude is better. Whether it is work, play, leisure time or social life. Being fit and healthy has an impact on all areas of life,” Wells said.

PE classes can help to increase students’ self-esteem through improving their overall fitness.

“I have had students who have totally changed their self-esteem and confidence level through PE classes. By becoming more fit, by losing weight, by becoming stronger, by changing their body type and how they look and by getting the benefits of daily exercise it is directly tied to self-esteem and confidence level and the energy level that you have on a daily basis. That is the great thing about exercise. With our PE department there is a huge variety of ways that you can become more physically fit,” Campbell said.

No one class is better suited to getting students physically fit, instead the amount of effort put into the class is what determines success in becoming fit.

“There are 24 hours in a day, everybody has time to exercise. You only need to do 30 minutes, five times a week. It is about making it a priority in your life, it has nothing to do with what classes you are taking. I do not think you can say that any one class is better than another, what determines whether or not you improve your physical fitness while you are taking a PE class is what your attitude is and what effort you are putting into your class,” Muzinieks said. “It does not matter if you are taking swimming or team sports or aerobics or weight training. If you do not try you are not going to improve and your fitness level will not improve.”