Sunday, May 27, 2007

Mandatory Gym Class

So this comic reminded me of something I feel like mentioning: I know it's been all the rage for those helpful state legislators to make bills requiring gym class for all students of x age at least y times per z. Well, back before it was cool, Illinois had this law, which meant that each and every year of my school career to this day I have had gym class. This was fun in grade school though, because my gym teacher was former speaker of the House Dennis Hastert's wife, so I would tell her to tell her husband to tell Bill Clinton I said hi. It was funny. I know she never did... XD But to the point, until middle school (junior high for those who aren't weird like our area) we had it every day, and in high school once per semester/two quarters per year, or every other day all year if you have a music class *raises hand*. So you all know how this is supposed to combat childhood obesity? Yeah, well, I was raised in a state where this has been the norm and yet, oh, what's this? I'm obese. I know, I know, it takes a lot more than just exercise to make someone larger (such as genetics, over eating, etc) but that's the point. For some, all they need is a little exercise to make them go from "flab to fab" (hahaha no.) but for many, such as me, something like mandatory gym class did not keep me from becoming obese, and I see many others my size or bigger who have been here as long as I have. It's a good thought, because children should love playing outside and vigorously and such, but I'm just saying, at least in my case, it hasn't really proven itself as a good plan, yet states keep pushing for this. Lovely.

On a side note, though, I would absolutely love it (well, a little late for me now!) if all Illinois schools put DDR in as a part of an exercise for gym class, like West Virginia schools are doing! Man, DDR rocks my socks, metaphorically of course. I was always proud to be the fat girl who could rock all on standard difficulty while skinny friends struggled on light ^_^

P.S. While trying to find out which states had mandatory gym class, and which ones did not (which I never really found), I stumbled upon this site. Anyone else find the links under the CDC section to be hilarious? "BLAH BLAH OBESITY BLAH BLAH EPIDEMIC!!!!" "BLAH BLAH ALARMIST BLAH BLAH FAT DEATH!!!!!!" ...Exclamation points GALORE!


Anonymous said...

I think they, legislators and whatnot, look at the exercise programs; not that they're a cure-all for obesity (like you said, there's a bunch of reasons), but that they can't possibly hurt these kids.

A little exercise is better than's not an ideal setup, but it's better than nothing.

Maya's Granny said...

Back in the late 40s and 50s, when I was in school, we had gym everyday for all 12 years. It wasn't to make us thin, just to give us exercise. Some gym teachers were wonderful, some were rotten, but we did get outdoors and play games and try enough things to find something that we each liked. How sad that now it is shoved at kids under the war on obesity nonsense. And, isn't it fun, now that they are declaring war on us?

Anonymous said...

Its not about getting kids thin by having one gym class its about building a healthy lifestyle that can lead to a thinner more confident person. Of course one mandatory gym class wont fix obesity thats not the goal.

Anonymous said...

I Agree when are you going to use dodgeball or baseball skills in life!

Anonymous said...

I hated gym class more than anything in the world. I had a jerk teacher all throughout middle school and WRITTEN EXAMS in high school gym. But I'm really glad I was forced to do it all, I would have gotten no exercise otherwise. I'm chubby, never have been skinny (and probably never will be), but gym did prove I could run for 20 minutes straight.

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