To stay active, P.E. department requires live Zoom workouts

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Elliott Taylor

With students sitting and watching screens for extended periods of time, P.E. teacher Tom Piane believes fitness is more important now than ever — one reason students are required to spend some of their P.E. class period in a live workout on Zoom. 

Krishita Dutta, Assistant Editor

On a typical fall day, students in P.E. classes would be jogging outside in the sun, or dribbling basketballs in the Lower Kovler Gymnasium. Due to distance learning, the P.E. department has had students shift from regular workouts in Lower Kovler to transforming their bedrooms into their fitness gyms. During the emergency distance learning in the spring, students simply had to report exercise logs to their P.E. teacher at the end of each week.

With students sitting and watching screens for extended periods of time, P.E. teacher Tom Piane believes fitness is more important now than ever — one reason students are required to spend some of their P.E. class period in a live workout on Zoom. 

“We’re all sitting, we’re all staring at screens for hours and hours a day,” he said, “so it’s very important for students to get up and exercise to relieve stress, to get their bodies active and moving.”

To facilitate this, students in P.E. classes don’t rotate among different units or teachers. Instead, students will have the same teacher the entire school year, and topics will vary based on the teacher’s choice.

High school P.E. teacher Terri Greene teaches only juniors this year, and has her students complete workouts during class. She believes that it’s essential for students to give online fitness their full effort.

 “We’re wanting you to do this for you, because it’s good for your health. It’s good for you physically, mentally, and so much more,” Ms. Greene said. “Even a 10-minute workout is going to make you so much more efficient for your entire school day, especially because you’re all on your screen for 12 hours a day.”

Students, such as ninth grader Varun Shriram, are so far enjoying the live workouts. 

“I have P.E. first thing in the morning, so it helps me wake up and become energetic for the rest of the school day,” Varun said. 

While he does believe that in-person workouts would be more beneficial, he thinks that the teachers are doing the best they can. 

Sophomore Ethan Kucera also prefers in-person workouts instead of on Zoom.

“I personally prefer doing in-person workouts for gym, mostly because they make it easier for us to do a much larger variety of activities or spend time with friends,” Ethan said. “Even then, gym teachers do make class interesting by changing up what we do in class every day.”

I want to encourage everyone to get out of the house and give the in-class workouts your all. It’s really important now more than ever, so go and be active.”

— Terri Greene

Mr. Piane, the teacher for a portion of the sophomores this year, switches up between workout videos and giving students choice in their workout through a list of suggestions to keep the class interesting – similar to many other teachers in the department.

According to sophomore Zara Baig, it can get awkward working out on camera for some students. However, she believes it is the best option given the circumstances.

Overall, given that students aren’t getting in as much activity as when they attend in person, the P.E. teachers strongly recommend students participate in the live workouts to the best of their ability.

“I want to encourage everyone to get out of the house and give the in-class workouts your all,” Ms. Greene said. “It’s really important now more than ever, so go and be active.”