Should Athletes Be Required To Do Gym Class?

Upper+Gym+at+NAI

Upper Gym at NAI

Eva Kynaston, Staff Writer

Student-athletes are becoming drained from having to do multiple workouts a day as school athletics get more competitive and gym classes become more intensive. This leads many athletes to wonder if gym classes should be mandatory at all. 

In order to graduate, students must take 0.5 credits of gym class every year at NA. However, with gym classes becoming more intense alongside taxing sports practices, athletes find their bodies under lots of pressure. 

Senior Samantha Waldo, a senior cross country and track runner at NA, explains that the increasing pressure on athletes’ bodies is unhealthy: “It is unhealthy for me to be running for 30 minutes in gym class and then going to a two-hour cross country practice and running and weight lifting on top of that.”

Gym teachers at NAI have the students’ well-being at heart. However, they may not realize how much gym class impacts athletic performance. Many students in North Allegheny, an already competitive school district, are doing a sport. The difference continues to widen between the exercise needs of students who already work out during the day and those who don’t. 

Additionally, many students have meets and games after school, with gym class negatively affecting their performance. Sophomore swimmer Greta Mott, explains the effects of gym class on her meets: “My performance at meets relies on my body having enough energy to perform at a high level. However, on the days that I have gym class, my energy is drained due to the mandatory gym classes.” 

Students propose ways that North Allegheny can adapt to the vigorous schedules of student-athletes: Waldo says, “The district should make accommodations for athletes in high-intensity sports who have events and workouts later and shouldn’t be intensely working out multiple times a day.”

“We already have high-intensity workouts and later-in-the-day meets,” says Mott, “so athletes should be resting or doing something that will help their performance, not hurt it.”