Should You Go to the Gym?

By Jordyn Jacobson

As teenagers, we have about million things to do each day. Whether it is practicing a sport, attending a club meeting, or studying for a test, it is hard to imagine a day with much free time. With such busy schedules, should going to the gym be a priority?

There are many benefits to incorporating fitness into our regular routine. It is easy to become overwhelmingly stressed with such hectic schedules. Working out can be a way to relieve this stress and create an outlet for any pressure that we may feel. Athlete Kallie Hoffman explains, “I think that working out really takes my mind off of the stress from school work, and it feels good to know that I am taking care of my body.” According to the American Psychological Association, 53% of teens feel good about themselves, 40% are put in a good mood, and 32% feel less stressed when they exercise. When you work out, your body releases chemicals called endorphins, which trigger a positive feeling in your body. Working out also allows you to get better sleep at night, which is extremely vital when it comes to teenagers. Another reason that teens may want to start going to the gym is because it implements healthy habits for later in life. When talking to personal trainer Shaka Davidson, he said, “When it comes to personal health, the teenage years are the years in which you are developing the habits that will follow you throughout the rest of your life. Out of the hundreds of people I have worked with, those that were introduced to the fitness lifestyle in their teens, end up being the adults with better overall health and wellness, as they navigate through the later stages of their lives.”

While there may be many reasons why teenagers can benefit from regularly exercising, there are also some downsides that may come with it. With so much on our minds, should we really be prioritizing working out? While exercising may be a great way to relieve stress, trying to find time to incorporate it into our busy schedules may create even more stress. Freshman Alison Lehman explains, “While I would love to be able to go to the gym on a regular basis, it is often too hard to find the time. Between juggling school work and extracurriculars activities, it is not something that I can easily prioritize.” Becoming obsessed with working out and your body image may also result from going to the gym so often. According to the Daily Mail, an obsession with exercise is often driven by a feeling of self-loathing and a fear of weight gain, especially in teenagers. The National Institute for Health Research adds that an alarming number of teenage girls are “extremely worried” about their weight. It can be argued that this is not something that they should be worrying about at this age, especially with everything else going on in their lives.

The teenage years are extremely vital, as it is a time to develop healthy habits that will drive you through the rest of your life. When it comes to working out, we should be making sure that we get enough exercise without having it consume our life. It is important to find a balance because exercise is a great source of healthiness and happiness in our lives.