The Issaquah High Times

Why Exercise Is Vital

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Back to Article

Why Exercise Is Vital

GETTING SWOLE

GETTING SWOLE

Mitchell Moyle

GETTING SWOLE

Mitchell Moyle

Mitchell Moyle

GETTING SWOLE

Eashan Arun, Sports Statistician

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Modern high schoolers have a lot on their plate in terms of their day to day routine. Today’s high schoolers are busy with school for the majority of the morning and afternoon. Along with school, teenagers have other events, extracurriculars, and plans, leaving little space for leisure and free time. Naturally, teenagers tend to spend this free time with pleasurable activities such as hanging out with friends and playing video games, and there is little to no room for them to take care of their bodies physically… or is there?

Physical health is a vital aspect to human life, especially in teenagers. Experts recommend that teens get at least 60 minutes of exercise per day. Establishing a precedent during one’s teenage years to exercise his or her body on a regular basis creates a beneficial habit that will ultimately lead to a healthy lifestyle. “While health is important throughout one’s entire life, focusing on physical health in teens is especially important. If teenagers stay physically fit and active, they can avoid health problems and other complications in the future,” says About Our Kids, Inc. Working out regularly provides several benefits, both mental and physical. According to the American Heart Association, physical activity provides several circulatory system benefits such as the improvement of blood circulation and cholesterol levels, as well as mental benefits like the improvement of self-image and management of stress, in addition to the obvious benefits of increased muscle mass and fat loss.

Given all these benefits to working out, why do not all teens try to find a slot of time to get a quick workout in? “Approximately 50 percent of young Americans aged 12 to 21 lack a regular, vigorous activity routine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” reads an article published by Healthfully. Author Shelley Frost also cites less physical education, more technology, and a lack of motivation as well as access as reasons why half of American teens do not work out. I spoke with students at Issaquah High who voiced their opinions on why teenagers refuse to work out and informed me on their personal experience with exercise. The students all cited laziness as a main excuse, with the main dialogue being, “I’m too tired, I’ll just go tomorrow.” “If you have enough time to sit on your phone or watch TV, you probably have enough time to work out,” said sophomore Timmy Crandall. “I don’t think any excuses are valid unless you don’t care about your body,” asserted senior Megan Sullivan.

Along with this question, I sought to find out a little about the workout habits of Issaquah High students. Of the eight students I interviewed (all of whom work out regularly), many of them work out in order to keep their bodies in shape for sports such as soccer and football. Although a few interviewees began lifting weights through these sports, there were a handful that also began lifting for their personal benefit among other reasons. “I saw that my friend had gained some muscle and I wanted to do so myself,” said junior Alex Amedson. The students work out an average of four days a week, recommend that one works out three days a week, and almost all  believe that cardio is the most important form of exercise. “I think cardio is most important because as you get older, improving your cardiovascular system is vital,” said senior Daniel Semenko. As for motivation, most students are motivated to exercise by goals they have, whether it is to improve at his or her sport or to create an ideal frame. “I have a very whimsical goal of being able to do a human flag. I’d also like to be able to bench 200 pounds, deadlift 400 pounds, and squat 300 pounds by the end of high school,” said freshman Anna DeCaprio.

Another reason why half of teenagers lack a exercise routine is because with regular physical activity comes an entire change of lifestyle. Not only do teens have to allot a slot of time in their schedule to work out, but changes in diet and sleep schedule also come into play, and often sleep, diet, and exercise intermingle. According to the National Sleep Foundation, “People who say they exercise report better sleep than those who say they don’t exercise… Nearly one-fourth of non-exercisers qualify as “sleepy” using a standard screening measure. Only 12 percent of exercisers qualify as sleepy. More than four in ten non-exercisers (44 percent) showed a moderate risk for sleep apnea, compared to between 26% of light exercisers and 19% of vigorous exercisers.” In other words, not only do those who exercise get better sleep, but they are also less sleepy throughout the day than those who don’t. “If I don’t get enough sleep I don’t have enough energy to work out for longer periods of time and I don’t perform as well,” said junior Riley Larsen. Diet also plays a huge role in its relationship with exercise. Nutritionist Zoe Bingley Pullin says, “Exercise impacts what our body does with the food we eat and how those foods may impact us. For example, our body won’t use the protein we consume to feed our muscles for growth if those muscles are not being exercised; there needs to be a need for a feed!” Along with exercise supplementing food intake, food intake supplements exercise in the same way. Freshman James Knopf echoed this, saying, “I would say [diet and exercise] go hand in hand. I feel like it’s easier to eat healthy when you begin working out because it keeps you going. You gotta eat healthy because for example if I eat McDonalds before a workout, that’s not gonna allow me to perform well.”

Regular exercise is vital to all. Not only is it important for overall physical health, but it provides benefits such as allowing one to get better sleep, or inclining one to eat healthier.  Although a gym membership would make working out a bit easier, there is always a way to engage in physical activity. Running outside, playing sports, and doing push ups are all ways someone can stay active in the comfort of their own home. It is recommended that a teen exercises for 60 minutes per day. An hour is only a bit over 4 percent of the amount of time in one day, and taking that 4 percent of a day to exercise can go a long way.

Eashan Arun, Sports Statistician

Class of 2019, first-year-journalist, film enthusiast, avid music-listener, bread-chaser, and supporter of animal preservation. Basketball and football...

Mitchell Moyle, Illustrator

Artistic madman specializing in drawing weird things such as wretched memes and grotesque abominations. Other interests include tabletop games such as...

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Why Exercise Is Vital