The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

Welcome to Gym

For juniors, physical education classes look a lot different at NASH.
Ruby Morris
For juniors at NASH, gym is a whole new experience.

When you think of high school gym class, you probably think of rope climbing and pacer tests. At NASH, juniors get to take a dip in the pool for the swimming unit, find their zen in the yoga unit, push to the limit in the cardio unit, and rule the badminton court. The old era of gym class is over.

For most NASH students, gym classes are organized by quarter, so juniors spend 9 weeks in each unit. The first and fourth quarter units, which are the spring and fall units, are aquatic fitness and cardio. The second and third quarter units, which are the winter ones, are badminton and yoga, conducted indoors.

First, there’s the aquatic fitness unit, held in the NASH pool and beginning with the five basic strokes of swimming.

“After the students master the basic strokes, we start treading and playing water games,” NASH phys ed teacher Heather Winters said. “This could be water polo, water basketball, synchronized swimming, and even water aerobics.”

Students use the pool locker rooms to get ready for swimming and are given plenty of time at the end of class to shower and change after swimming. 

Then there’s the cardio fitness unit. 

 “The basis of this unit is to exercise in safe heart rate target zones using different types of cardio activities. We play cardio targeted games, use cardio equipment, and cardio dance,” Winters said.

During this unit, students will either be using the equipment in the weight room, going to the Baierl Center to play games like nitroball or kickball, or just staying in the gym. 

Next up is the badminton unit. This unit is pretty simple, students learn how to play badminton.

“Students learn badminton skills, strategy, and scoring to play competitive badminton games,” Winters said.

Students stay in the gym for this unit. They first learn the basic skills and equipment of badminton, and then they move on to tournament play. The tournaments are played as singles or doubles. 

Finally, there’s the strength, flexibility and balance unit.

“This unit consists of yoga, weight training, and pilates. We use a lot of different equipment, too, like dumbbells, weight room equipment, yoga bells, kettlebells, and resistance bands. Then we can use foam rollers for active recovery. While I love all the units, if I had to pick a favorite, I think it would be this one,” said Winters.

During this unit, classes will either meet in the wrestling room or in the weight room. 

All of the different junior gym units offer students a unique experience. The cardio unit helps strengthen the heart, making it more efficient with pumping blood and reducing the chance of heart disease. Similarly, the aquatic fitness unit also improves cardiovascular health and offers a full body workout for muscles. Badminton has a plethora of benefits, such as increasing stamina, agility, hand eye coordination, and concentration. Finally, yoga is a great way to improve mental health as well as strengthen muscles and mindfulness. 

The junior gym units at NASH are designed to improve the overall wellbeing of the students and help them physically and mentally. Not only is the class helping students now, but it is preparing them for a healthy future.

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