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Learning from recess

Entertainment Editor

Published: Saturday, March 17, 2012

Updated: Sunday, March 18, 2012 21:03

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Jessica Gerlich, Editor-in-Chief

Swings, dodgeball and fights with other kids on the playground. It's recess.

Primary school helps students learn discipline and social interaction, and recess plays a huge part in that. It also forces kids to take time out of their school day and be active, which is something that everyone at all ages should take into consideration.

I was the last person to want to play sports or run around at recess. Instead, I sat on the steps trying to read or talked with the girls about who we wanted to be our next boyfriends. I also tried to get out of gym class as much as humanly possible. One year, I think I got out of the entire time we played football because I would claim my contacts kept falling out and spend the rest of the hour in the restroom.

Big mistake.

Now that I am a 23-year-old overweight collegiate thinking I am going to die every time I climb three flights of never-ending stairs, I wish I would have been active during recess and taken part in gym class. It would have done a lot for the current state of my health.

I am the first one to complain about my weight, but I am also the first one to say I don't have time to go to the gym for an hour a day. Every minute I'm not doing homework is spent watching Netflix and catching up on the not-so-exciting-or-important updates I missed on Facebook.

A friend mentioned that he lost 25 pounds since I last saw him. I was surprised to find out that he's not going to the gym every day. Instead, he makes conscious decisions to be active and is paying attention to what he eats, along with drinking a lot of water.

He also has the discipline and motivation to exercise when he can. When faced with the decision to take the elevator or the stairs, he takes the stairs. He gets off the bus a couple of stops early and walks the rest of the way home.

It's all about finding those little ways to be more active. If we change our attitudes and look for opportunities to get some extra physical activity in simpler ways, it will really make a difference.

We should learn from the fact that school kids are expected to be active for at least 15 minutes every day. Recess isn't just so the teachers can get a break from rowdy students. It's a way for students to get necessary physical activity.

The fact that we are adults doesn't exempt us from this need. It just means we are not forced into it, and that it may be a little harder to get into the habit.

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