Fitness is new focus of physical education


By Kaelee Rupell, Southern Lehigh HS, Center Valley, Pa.

The nature of gym class has changed a great deal throughout the years. From high-activity team sports to more individualized body improvement such as weight lifting, cardio and setting personal goals, personal fitness has evolved greatly since the addition of individualized workout programs for students during as part of their physical education classes.

“There are more long-term benefits to taking personal fitness rather than competitive sports,” health and physical education teacher Ms. Megan Dellegrotti said. “The wide variety of programs allow students to take ownership when they create their own workout programs.”

The wide variety of programs allow students to take ownership when they create their own workout programs.”

— Megan Dellegrotti, physical education teacher

The weight training room was reorganized this year to reflect what you would see in a commercial gym.

“I like how the specific free weights and machines are grouped accordingly,” junior Noah Weaver said. “This makes working out quicker and more efficient at school, giving me a good amount of time to work out.”

Another change is that students get to create their own workout program. Anyone can fit it to match their personal needs.

“The students can complete a legitimate strength and endurance program in one day,” fitness teacher Mr. Steve Schrader said. “Also, the new block scheduling with class every other day helps with body recovery.”

Many students seem to really enjoy taking personal fitness and understand the benefits of taking the class.

Junior Kolbi Harding switched his class from competitive to fitness earlier this year.

“I felt that I could become more physically fit throughout the semester by taking fitness,” he said.

Former high school health and physical education teacher Mrs. Tara McGinniss now teaches at the middle school and said that they have also taken fitness to a new level. The middle school now also has their own cardio room, weights, and even a rock wall. It really prepares students for gym class here at the high school.

“We fought for it and now all gym classes are year round,” middle school gym teacher Mrs. Devon Hagy said. “We see the students every three days.”

Promoting health is definitely starting to become emphasized more throughout all of the schools.

“Seeing kids being able to enjoy physical education and getting the experience to be able to use for the rest of their lives is rewarding,” Ms. Dellegrotti said.

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