Keep up the work! Physical Education supports student health in a virtual setting

By Dakota Rutherford, Staff–

Davis High sophomore Ian Bourne logs onto his computer second period, ready to exercise along to a video in Julie Crawford’s general Physical Education class. Many students are outside, where there is lots of space, and have water ready at their side. Even during quarantine, students are getting in good workouts.

At DHS, students can take strength and conditioning, dance and general PE classes to meet their Physical Education requirement. All of these classes have transferred online due to COVID-19.

PE teachers have had to make adjustments to their workouts to fit the new platform. A typical online PE class at the high school will include either teachers leading workouts or students following along to an exercise video.

“It’s definitely been a memorable experience so far watching the students get stronger, build endurance and find enjoyment in all different types of exercise and movement,” Crawford said.

Without access to facilities such as the weight room and gym, students and teachers are needing to be creative and find things that they can use at home.

“We are definitely not gaining as much online as we would if we were in person,”  junior Dylan Raven said. “One of the main reasons [someone] takes strength and conditioning is to get in work in the weights room.”

PE teacher Daniel Ariola agrees. This year he is teaching one general PE class and two sophomore and junior strength and conditioning classes.

“They are more productive in person. Not having access to the facilities is a challenge,” Ariola said.

Just like DHS, all Davis’ junior high schools have moved their PE classes online. 

At Holmes Junior High, students have three different activities that they do during the week.

On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, students workout along to exercise videos with activities such as EMOM, a workout with 60-second exercises; high intensity interval training (HIIT), a cardiovascular workout with short periods of intense anaerobic exercise; kickboxing, yoga, and TABATA, which is a form of a HIIT workout.

According to Holmes PE teachers Donald Nush and Mindy Dufresne, their department felt it was important to work on “social emotional learning.” They spend Tuesdays working on character building, teamwork and social emotional classwork. 

On Thursday, each grade studies the history and rules of whatever unit they are in. Students also have a fitness log that they fill out each week. Throughout the week they do an hour of activities outside of class.

“I think it also shows your personality to others and the character you display when someone is watching and when someone isn’t,” Nush said.

Exercise has been proven to help people both physically and mentally. Currently, students are isolated at home and may be struggling with issues caused or perpetuated by COVID-19.

“During these stressful times we all need to remember to take care of each other as well as ourselves, and PE can definitely give you that opportunity within your day to do just that,” Dufresne said.

According to Lou Bronzan, a professor of physical education at UC Davis, exercise, and specifically PE classes, help create a structure in someone’s life.  “When it becomes a habit […] there is the greatest benefit,” Bronzan said.

Physical Education creates a system and sticking to a routine can make other aspects of one’s life more productive.

“I think that keeping a routine of working out in class, even if it’s just for a few minutes some days, has really helped me through quarantine,” junior Jackie Wallis said.

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