High school can be a stressful time as you grow into a young adult and adapt to new peer groups, ever-changing interests and aim to establish goals for your future. An emphasis on making good grades and fitting in can be overwhelming at times, so it is important to remember to take the time to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The benefits of physical education and fitness not only affect your body, but your mind and emotional well-being.
Physical education classes provide the opportunity to participate in sports, exercise and perform other activities that promote physical fitness. These activities release chemicals in your brain known as endorphins, which help produce feelings of calm and relaxation. A study done by the University of Georgia in 2008 showed that people who exercise just 20 minutes a day can decrease their fatigue by 65 percent. If you're feeling tired and stressed out, getting exercise will help refresh you.
Participating in daily activities in physical education can help boost your self-esteem and offer an opportunity to socialize in an environment that differs from the traditional class setting. Sports and games played in gym class often encourage teamwork and fair play, meaning that your classmates will rely on you and consider you a teammate. When your classmates respect that you're working toward the same goals in class as they are, it becomes easier for you to respect yourself. Self-esteem is just as important as physical well-being when it comes to reaching your full potential.
For most, good grades are the most important aspect of high school. A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shown that physical activity can impact cognitive skills and academic performance. Staying physically fit can enhance your concentration and help you better focus on class work, making keeping up less stressful. Exercise has even been linked to standardized test performance, with physically active students scoring higher than their non-exercising peers.
Promotes Healthier Lifestyle
Regularly participating in physical education not only affects your mental and emotional state, but your body image and your physical health. Developing healthy exercise habits as a teenager means that you are less likely to become obese and lowers the risk of contracting diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Exercise reduces depression, blood pressure and cholesterol while boosting your immune system. Regular exercise means that you will both look and feel your best.
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Physical Activity Reduces Stress
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Psychosocial Aspects of Physical Activity
- Mayo Clinic: Exercise and stress
- University of Georgia: Low-Intensity Exercise Reduces Fatigue Symptoms By 65 Percent, Study Finds
- The Wichita Eagle: PE Can Help Build a Child's Self-Esteem
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: The Association Between School-Based Physical Activity, Including Physical Education, and Academic Performance
- Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images