Maintaining Weight by S.R.

Helen Phillips, season seven contestant of The Biggest Loser, lost 140 pounds when on the show. She is known as the oldest contestant on the show and also the woman who holds the record for the most weight lost on the ladies side. She only ended up gaining back 18 pounds. This is one of very few success stories. Another Contestant, Eric Chopin of season three has one of the more common stories. He weighed 407 pounds before the show, one of the most dramatic changes ever, and ended up returning to 368 pounds. He is known as the man who has lost the most weights on the guys side.

Most people who participate on the Biggest Loser, are not able to maintain the weight lose and end up gaining it all back instead. According to scientificamerican.com this is because when such people have dramatic weight changes their metabolism slows down so much that they have to cut back on calories so much more in order for them to maintain their weight. In the beginning of the show the contestants were able to burn around 2600 calories and by the end they were only able to burn 1900. So not only did they have to limit the amount of calories they intake, but also have to make sure they were good calories. That is a lot of change for those people with previous lifestyles Their metabolisms also didn’t speed up again when they gained all the weight back which makes it even harder for them to try and lose weight.   

Those who are able to maintain weight are those who exercise consistently and eat healthy. This doesn’t mean that you have to go for a ten mile run everyday and then eat kale. It just means that you should get at least ten minutes of exercise a day, even if it’s just a walk and eat lots of fruits and vegetables. The key to staying on a healthy diet is to let yourself have cheat days occasionally. All of these factors lead to a healthy lifestyle that will help maintain and lose weight.  

Benefits of Physical Education in Schools for Adolescents by C.R.

Sam Rodriguez walked into Lakeshore Athletic Club to meet with his physical trainer for what seemed to be the one thousandth time. I knew Sam was an active guy who enjoyed working out, but I never understood just how important his daily sweat was. As I walked into the gym to see him doing what looked like a deathly ab workout, I decided to finally ask him why he is so dedicated. “Well it’s kinda funny but when I grew up, I was actually huge.” Surprised, I asked him to explain further. “When I was eight-years-old, I weighed almost 175 pounds. I didn’t know what working out really was, and pretty much anything with unpronounceable ingredients was my go to snack.” Seeing that Sam was one of the more fit people my age that I’ve seen, I was more than shocked.

Childhood obesity is shockingly common and often ignored due to the proposition that excess body fat is simply just “baby fat.” According to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one third of children between the ages of six and nineteen are either overweight or obese. After the realization of the severity of excess body fat in children and adolescents, schools decided they needed to have some same in the health of their students.

Physical education first became a subject in schools at the beginning of the 19th century in the form of gymnastics. Its correlation with human health was quickly observed. At the beginning of the 20th century, personal hygiene and exercise for health were integrated in the physical education curriculum. The exclusive focus on health, though, was said to be “too narrow and detrimental to the development of the whole child” by educator Thomas Wood. The education community adopted Wood’s inclusive approach to physical education where fundamental movements and skills for games and sports were incorporated as the focus of instruction. During the 15 years after, physical education once again evolved to connect body movement to its consequences, teaching students the science behind living a healthy lifestyle and skills needed for an active lifestyle.

Sam Rodriguez was a huge beneficiary of physical education programs taught in his high school. Going into high school, he still maintained the excess body fat he had mentioned when he was eight. At the start of his freshman year, he signed up for the obligatory Fitness program.  

To understand physical education as a component of the education system, it is important to know that the education system in the United States does not operate with a blanketed curriculum. Learning standards are developed by national organizations such as the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) or state education agencies instead of the federal Department of Education; all curricular decisions are made locally by school districts or individual schools in agreement with state standards. Physical education is influenced by this system, which leads to great diversity in policies and requirements. Most states today mandate physical education for both elementary and secondary schools.

For Rodriguez along with many other overweight students, the thought of having to exercise in front of other students, particularly fit ones, is terrifying. “At first I was apprehensive because I had never been required to take a PE class ever before. I had heard all of the horror stories of having to climb the rope and having your gym shorts slide off or getting picked last for team sports. I didn’t have an option though so I tried to see the best in it.” Rodriguez soon after fell in love with the class and recognized the importance of physical education. Later explaining the benefits he noticed from taking the class, he accredited his major weight loss to his high school PE class. His new found love for health and fitness sparked his love for Olympic Lifting where he has found great success. He is down to only 8% body fat, much less than his previous 38%.

Unlike other physical activities sponsored by schools such as junior varsity and varsity team sports, physical education represents the only time and place for every student to learn knowledge and skills related to physical activity and to be physically active during the school day. It also is currently the only time and place for all children to engage in vigorous physical activity safely because of the structured and supervised environment. It is expected that students will use the skills and knowledge learned in physical education in other physical activity opportunities in school, such as recess, active transportation, and intramural sports. For these reasons, physical education programs have been identified as the foundation on which the health of individual students can be improved by schools.

Recommended levels of vigorous physical activity for teenagers are more likely to be achieved in schools where the physical environment, the school’s programs, and the school’s staff all provide greater amounts of physical activity throughout the day during physical education. This being said, physical education has a large and crucial impact on the individual fitness levels of high school aged students. Mr. Andrew Johnson, a PE teacher at Nevin Platt Middle School in Boulder, Co agrees.

Living in one of the most fit places in America, Johnson isn’t super familiar with a large number of obese children entering his gym classes each day. When asked about the impact of his classes on the fitness levels of individuals he stated, “You see, my gym classes aren’t just to make my students lose weight. They’re to teach them the importance of being fit and healthy and with that, I think physical education is important and is indeed effective.” He believes that teaching his students the importance of being healthy and fit instills a desire within them to try in class and put in effort towards their fitness. “Sometimes they don’t even realize that what they’re doing is actually to get in shape because they’re having so much fun. To me, that’s success. To have them recognize that what they’re doing for fun is actually making them healthy is what promotes fitness. When they’re having fun they’re more likely to enjoy it and make it a bigger part of their lives.” According to Johnson, the more fun students have in physical education classes, the more likely they are to be more active in their daily lives.

In a review on the purpose of physical education programs in school by The New York Times, it was stated that “The physical education curriculum is one of the most crucial programs in early schooling as they can promote good health, giving students a new way to make them fit and learn their lessons at the same time.” Physical education in schools has myriad benefits, the main one being health. The benefits of physical fitness extend beyond physical advantages, though. Exercise throughout the school day has more advantages than one might presume.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, physical education programs during the school day explain the correlation between active students and academic success.  Evidence suggests that increasing physical activity and physical fitness may improve academic performance and that time in the school day dedicated to recess, physical education class, and physical activity in the classroom may also facilitate academic performance, specifically in math and science. These topics depend on efficient and effective executive function, which has been linked to physical activity and physical fitness. Executive function and brain health underlie academic performance. Basic cognitive functions related to attention and memory facilitate learning, and these functions are enhanced by physical activity and higher aerobic fitness. This being said, the more active you are, the more success you’ll find in academia. Single sessions of and long-term participation in physical activity improve cognitive performance and brain health. Children who participate in vigorous- or moderate-intensity physical activity benefit the most.

Michael Zarian, a Fairview High School student and athlete, believes his extreme involvement in swimming has given way for his academic successes. Committed to swim for Harvard’s Men’s Swim Team beginning this upcoming Fall, Zarian is clearly an intelligent and athletic individual. I was able to sit down with Michael to discuss his success in both academics and swimming. When asked to explain how he thinks swimming has impacted his school career, he stated: “You know, I believe there is more to life than just school and just swimming. To me it was all about balance. Without school, I wouldn’t be where I am with swimming and without swimming, I wouldn’t be able to function academically. Taking so many hard classes, being able to let it all go while I swim is actually a huge blessing.” According to Michael, without swimming, he wouldn’t be as successful in his schooling. Zarian is a perfect example of the benefits of exercise in his life, both in his schooling and health.

Physical education programs in schools clearly add many benefits to the health of individuals in the classroom, as well as outside. Physical education is the grassroots program for all activity in America. According to a study done by PHIT America, students who take a PE class during the school day are 35% more likely to play a team sport or participate in rigorous outdoor activities regularly. This statistic shows the importance of physical education programs in schools.

In accordance with Sam Rodriguez, Michael Zarian, and Andrew Johnson, physical education in schools is the basis for building a strong and successful future for yourself. It not only increases the health and fitness of individuals and promotes academic success, but produces more active youth outside of school as well.

As I was walking out of Lakeshore Athletic Club for the night, I wave goodbye to Rodriguez as he finishes his work out. Knowing that once he carried around so much excess weight on his body and seeing him come full circle from that, I am inspired and motivated to reach my own physical goals as well as educate others on the importance of exercise.

“This is all thanks to my freshman year gym class, Claire!” I hear Rodriguez yell as the automatic exit doors close behind me.

The Bubble by S.P.

We live in a bubble, surrounded by sunshine and positivity. This bubble provides a healthier lifestyle. Surrounded by happy people, outdoor activities, mountains, open space, and 300 days of sunshine, the city of Boulder provides the perfect environment for a healthy body and a healthy mind. But what is the world like outside of this secluded bubble?

In Boulder, Colorado, there is a strong representation of healthy lifestyles: being active, eating healthy, and being very open minded. This has an extremely positive impact on most of the people here. They are encouraged to go hiking, biking, walking,

etc. Basically anything to get moving. People are also extremely kind. We respect each other, smile at strangers, and laugh in amazement at the street performers while walking down Pearl Street Mall.

Humans neurologically regulate with their surroundings.” Rebecca Roetto said in an interview, “When you are surrounded by positive people you tune in with the positive.” When taken out of this setting, it can be a huge culture shock. Roetto recently went on a trip back to her hometown of St. Louis. “This is one of the most racist cities in our country. In St. Louis, the different ethnicities are still segregated by neighborhoods… Being surrounded by this consciousness makes my heart hurt. It has taken such an effect on me that now I have a cough and don’t feel physically well.” When surrounded by negativity, and in this case, racism, it majorly affects your physical and mental health.

Roetto spoke about Boulder, emphasizing the difference between it and St Louis, “The weather is often nice enough to allow me to comfortably go outside and be active. Also, so many people in Boulder are active that it makes it even easier to get outside.” Steele Roddick, a member of ParticipACTION, supported this, “The more I thought about it, the more I began to realize how quickly the culture had taken hold. I was already being more active in my everyday life without really wondering why. No one told me I had to be more active. No one insisted that I walk more or go to the gym or take up a sport. Somehow it just happened organically. I didn’t consciously decide I needed to keep up with everyone. It just happened, naturally.”

We need to surround ourselves with positive and active people to maintain a healthy physical and mental health. But we also need to be aware that we do live in the “Boulder Bubble”. The world isn’t as perfect as we imagine it to be. The best thing we can do spread our Boulder vibes to parts of the country that need it most.

Good Health and Well Being by H.K.

I remember the pounding of feet as I ran beside my mom.  The Bolder Boulder is one of the largest populated runs in the Colorado.  I was in third grade when I ran it with my mother.  We were going slow because I wasn’t a very fast runner.  Being smaller I had a clear view of tall runners with strong calves, obviously from their running and biking careers.  Running through the neighborhoods was the best because people set up tables and handed out items to the runners including: gatorade, lemonade, cupcakes, energy gummies, doritos and more.  

From this experience for me, it gave Colorado a stereotype; Colorado must be one of the healthiest states in the U.S.  I drive down South Boulder Road to school every morning and it’s impossible to miss a runner, or a biker.  In the winter there are also runners and bikers in my neighborhood.  It is rare to find someone without any motivation in keeping their body healthy in this area of the U.S.  Therefore, it is quite difficult to come up with a negative response when seriously interviewing anyone about their health and well being.   

Colorado is the eighth healthiest state in the U.S. making it really easy to stay motivated through others to stay in shape.  Living in Boulder from my own personal experience is especially a motivation to keep my body healthy.  My mother had always motivated me to eat well and keep my body in good health.  Since I grew up with an athletic family with my mom pushing me all the time, I found that socializing with boys was easier than it was with girls.  My my male friends also push me everyday.  With almost everyone I know motivating me to stay in shape I wondered if anyone else had the same origin of motivation as me in the field of well being and good health.  

Carmen Kilday, an athlete since as long as she can remember, “I have been an athlete since I was little.  All my life I was a jock.  I played basketball in high school and in college, but I did not really watch what I ate.  You could say that I was a heavy set athlete.  If I had eaten better I would have had more playing time in college because I would have been faster.  Today I still am a heavier set athlete due to the slow in my metabolism but I now eat healthier and am a better athlete.  Now I play tennis and I am incredibly good for my age, not to brag.  Tennis keep me lean and it keeps my joints strong and healthy.  If I had sat around the rest of my life and decided to drop my hobby as an athlete I wouldn’t be where I am today.  My children wouldn’t be healthy and my wonderful daughters wouldn’t have have the amazing potential she holds today for a future career in volleyball.  My eldest daughter takes advantage of the family YMCA membership and she lifts on the days she doesn’t have volleyball practices.  My son is an athlete and decided to bring up basketball.  He is amazing at it and my children tell me all the time that I am an inspiration.”  Carmen was raised in an abusive home and she used athletics to escape.  It saved her life in many occasions.

Shannon Milton, a star swimmer who made all-state two years in a row.  “Keeping my body in a healthy state has changed my life because it has taught me to be more respectful, and makes me challenge myself to my limits every day.”  She now has tendinitis in both shoulders she can no longer swim.  She was on the way to olympics, “Imagine having everything you have ever wanted at your fingertips then someone coming with a nice to chop off your fingers.  I lost everything and became very depressed.  I stopped working out but I never failed at eating healthy.  I have the body I want and that gives me confidence in many areas.  You would be surprised what a good body could get you.”  Now Shannon lifts her lower body in order to stay in shape and become stronger.  

Nate Andrews has played lacrosse for five years, “Physically lacrosse has positively affected my life by giving me the body that I want.  I am very happy with my body.  Since my metabolism is wicked fast I can drink a half a gallon of sweet tea a day and not gain a pound.  It’s awesome.  But once I feel the need to change my eating habits I will.  I will eat kale chips instead and focus my meals around protein.  Lacrosse helps with coordination which can also provide in other helpful daily activities.  It is also easier to get a girlfriend when I feel more confident in my body, and being healthy and in shape makes being confident hella easier.”

According to the NIH (national, lung, blood institute), being overweight can cause serious health issues.  Stroke, diabetes, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer and more are all causes of obesity.  One also does not have to be fat to become unhealthy.  One can also be too skinny to become unhealthy.  According to something-fishy.org, Comprehensive Eating Disorder In A Homelike Setting, and common sense not letting your body have the required nutrients in able to function you will starve.  The body needs food to survive and when one gives the opposite of that to their body it will cease to survive.  A nutrient lacking body is not a healthy body.

Briana Martinez- a normal highschool cheerleader wishing to fit in.  “I used to be a little overweight through middle school and freshmen year.  I started to believe that my body was not good enough for myself so I decided to stop eating.  My home life wasn’t the best either so it was nice knowing that I was able to control something in my life.  Even if that meant the food that went in my body.  I would only eat a small meal once a day.  I thought it would be fine because I was eating healthy!  At cheer practice I found that every day I would feel more tired.  Sometimes I felt like I had to pass out from the exhaustion.  I was five foot five and I weighed 80 pounds.  The worst part about it, I still felt like I was fat.  With eating disorders, no matter how small you get you are never satisfied.  I kept lying to myself until I was in hospital care with the doctors forcing nutrients back into my body.  Being healthy does not mean being skinny. Healthy is being confident in your body while giving it everything it needs.”   

A Vessel by A.T.

A body is more than just a person. An athlete’s body is more than a mode of transportation and action, it is a temple, a machine that is under full control. The body needs taking care of, cherishing, and maintaining.

Taking care of a body is not easy. The correct fuel needs to be used, the right tools to maintain it are required, and the dedication to keep up with the maintenance is unquestionably the most important. Fuel is what is what drives us, fuel is what helps us grow. Eating healthy and “correctly” is a giant contribution of the functionality of the body. Healthy food in the correct amount properly powers and builds the mechanics of our joints, muscles, organs, and everything else that we use to function.

Moving is maintaining. When we power up our engines we clean everything out. When the blood starts to pump and the muscles loosen up ready to engage there is a cleaning process. Everything that has built up since the last time the body was used is flushed out and cleared away to make room for growth and improvement. If a body is mistreated and never used, all the motions and actions are restricted and our engines can’t run at full capacity. This is just as bad as over using and over pushing the body. Overworking the engine, tearing up the muscles, and putting strain on the joins can damage the functions. An ideal balance of rest and active is required to maintain a full capacity of power and energy being generated.

Famous athletes, like Usain Bolt, have a very strict lifestyle to keep to keep their body running at 100% capacity. As stated in an A-List article by Richa Barua, Usain Bolt has a plan for perfect maintenance for his body. He stretches, plans out his workouts, and eats well. The proper balance in training, stretching, and resting is what makes him such an advance, professional athlete and makes him able to perform at the huge capacity that he does.

On the other end of the extremes, being inactive is very bad for your body. As said by the World Heart Federation, being inactive can cause health problems and increase the chance of premature death. Not pushing your body at least once a week can make it inefficient and unable to run properly. When inactive for a long period of time your body functions slow down and when necessary won’t be able to perform at a good rate to keep the body alive.

Being active doesn’t only affect your physical state. The body also consists of the brain. Being active place a role in brain function and activity. As stated by an article in Conscien Health, exercising can increase the efficiency and functionality of the brain. When inactive, the brain slows down and is not needed as much to make sure that all the organs are running at capacity since there is no strain on them. Being active reduces the stress that is caused by other daily activities and lets people clearly think about their problems. Being able to let go of stress slows down the aging process and makes people happier “When I don’t train for more than two days in a row, I start to become cranky and stressed out” said by Brandon Douglas, Parkour coach at Apex Movement. Being active is also hygienic. Sweating releases toxins from the skin and cleans out the poors “I smell worse after a day of just sitting around then after a long day of training and sweating in the hot sun, I always feel very refreshed and cleansed after sweating” Said by Chris Buris, Trainee at Apex Movement.

Even though it may seem contradictory to what was stated earlier, resting is a huge part of keeping the body running well and sustainably without injury. In the book Parkour Strength Training by Ryan Ford and Ben Musholt, there are published studies of the chronic injuries that can occur from overworking the body. When the body is not given time to rest and recover, strain can cause tears and long term injuries. Working out and exercising pulls apart muscle fibers and lightly puts strain on joints and tendons. This is perfectly normal and that is how muscles and joints grow and get stronger. When there isn’t enough rest incorporated in exercising, all the little tears and damages don’t have time to heal. The constant microtears will eventually turn into larger tears which could lead to fully tearing a muscle.

Constant studies are being published about how important it is to be active and take care of the body. Only one body is available for us and it should be cherished and taken care of. There is no reason that someone should ruin something that is irreplaceable.

Work Cited

Barua, Richa. “Usain Bolt: Know His Workout, Diet Plan and Likes.”International

Business Times RSS. A-List, 24 Aug. 2015. Web. 16 Mar. 2016.

 

“Physical Inactivity.” Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors –. World Heart Federation,

n.d. Web. 16Mar. 2016.

 

“Three Ways Being Active Affects Your Brain – ConscienHealth.”ConscienHealth.

Conscien Health, 27 Jan. 2014. Web. 16 Mar. 2016.

 

Ford, Ryan, and Ben Musholt. Parkour Strength Training: Overcome Obstacles for Fun

andFitness. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.
Douglas, Brandon, and Chris Buris. “Exercise.” Personal interview. 16 Mar. 2016.