Health and Fitness

5 Reasons to Prioritize Health and Fitness in Schools

Fostering an interest in health and fitness holds immense value, especially during your high school years, and goes beyond the apparent physical advantages. Embracing this lifestyle encompasses activities such as consistent exercise, mindful eating, and understanding your body’s needs, all of which contribute to preventive healthcare.

Amidst the whirlwind of academic commitments and extracurricular involvement, it’s easy to sideline your personal well-being. Yet, the significance of nurturing yourself during high school resonates not only in the present but also in your future endeavors.

Even if athleticism isn’t your defining trait, allocating time and effort to your well-being throughout your high school journey reaps rewards that stretch beyond mere physical prowess. Delve into the following five benefits that underscore the importance of this commitment:

1. Exercising Benefits Mental Health

When you exercise, your body responds positively. Some of these responses are chemical in nature and others are behavioral. Either way, the evidence agrees overwhelmingly that regular physical exertion has positive effects on your mental health.

As you exercise, the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol decrease in your body. At the same time, exercise stimulates the creation of endorphins, which are natural mood boosters and painkillers.

Exercise also boosts your spirits in other ways. Regular physical exertion is associated with increased self-confidence, positive self-image, and an elevated sense of control over your life.

You’re also more likely to feel invigorated or energized if you exercise regularly, and these feelings can spill over into other areas of your life. Your increased energy could help with studying, other extracurriculars, or simply enjoying time with friends. The emotional impacts of exercising regularly are overwhelmingly positive.

2. Regular Fitness Participation Can Help You to Meet New People

It can be difficult to branch out socially in high school once students have established their core groups of friends, but fitness can be a social activity that brings people together.

Whether you are participating in team sports, individual sports, sports clubs, or fitness classes, or you just go to the gym regularly, you are bound to meet new people with whom you share a common interest. Over time, you’re bound to strike up conversations and build connections with people you’d otherwise never have met.

If you participate in fitness pursuits outside of your high school, you might even meet people from different schools or other age groups. Feeling like you are part of a community and have a group of supporters can be an invaluable investment in your own confidence, accountability, and well-being.

Your dedication to health and fitness can help you to establish a solid support network. Some fitness programs, like Crossfit, are based largely in the sense of community developed by participating in them.

Read Also: The 10 Most Important Fitness Goals

3. Health and Fitness Can Be a Valuable Extracurricular

One factor that admissions committees weigh when reviewing your college application is the commitment and dedication that you’ve exhibited through extracurricular activities. A passion for health and fitness is easily pursued as an extracurricular through a number of different avenues.

You might join a school sport, participate in or even start a club sport or fitness club, volunteer to teach healthy habits to elementary schoolers, or even get a job related to your passion, like a fitness class instructor or gym supervisor.

Pursuing one or multiple extracurriculars related to your passion over an extended period will not only build your own knowledge and skills in the field, but also show colleges that you are capable of pursuing your interests seriously, sustaining your commitment over a prolonged period and perhaps even building to leadership roles.

Your pursuit of and dedication to health and fitness can thereby become an important extracurricular on your college applications, highlighting your initiative, commitment, and leadership skills.

4. Many College Majors Can Be Found in the Health and Fitness Fields

While exercise and fitness might seem like a casual hobby at first glance, it can also be a serious academic major if you decide to pursue it professionally.

There are relevant fields of study that can lead to a career in the field of health and fitness. Some colleges, like Emory University and College of the Ozarks, offer majors specifically in health and fitness.

Another common and closely related major is kinesiology and exercise science, and this is offered at many top colleges, like the United States Military Academy at West Point, Rice University, and the University of Southern California.

If you don’t want to specifically major in these fields or would rather pursue another related field, there are plenty of other options worth considering. Related fields of study could lead to a career in physical therapy, medicine, nutrition, sports administration, athletic training, or physical education.

By turning your interest in health and fitness into a serious professional pursuit, you might be able to find a career that is genuinely interesting and important to you.

5. Developing a Healthy Lifestyle is a Key Piece of Autonomy

While there are many skills and habits that you’ll need to develop during high school and college in order to establish your independence, living a healthy lifestyle is among the most important.

The physical and mental benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle are numerous, and by establishing the foundation of this lifestyle while you’re still in high school, you set yourself up to continue it into college and beyond.

College can be a tempting time to develop unhealthy habits. For some students, it becomes a time of experimentation, testing their body’s limits and responses to unhealthy stimuli ranging from sleep deprivation and unhealthy eating to experimentation with alcohol and drug use. If you prioritize a healthy lifestyle as a high school student, you’re less likely to compromise these values in college.

Healthy living and personal fitness are valuable pursuits not only for your own physical well-being, but also for the number of non-physical benefits that they provide. Not only can these areas of interest lead to a serious professional field, but also they can provide mental health and social benefits as well.

Prioritizing your pursuit of these and establishing the habits of a healthy lifestyle while still in high school can lead to success across many aspects of your life.

Read Also: How to Properly Dispose your Waste Plastic Items

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