Exercise: Helpful or Hurtful?

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[ot-caption title=”Freshmen Ben Pierce lifts weights in order to gain muscle for his upcoming sport tryouts. (via Jessica Gross, freshman)”]

Staying in shape seems to be more popular than ever with several new fitness chains opening in the last couple years.  Among the students of PC, tracking their exercise has also grown more popular with technological devices like the Fitbit.  This interest in exercise can quickly turn into obsession, however, resulting in serious physical damage.  Where is the line drawn between healthy and too much?

Flywheel  and Cycleward  are two of the most visited spinning facilities by PC students as well as many other adults and children around the country. Not only are classes filled with competitive energy but also with professional instruction.  Many of the classes have become so popular, in fact, that customers have to purchase their classes in advance in order to reserve a bike.  The forty to sixty minute classes provide the rider with an intense workout unparalleled by any other forms of exercise. Sophomore George Aloia, an avid spinner, excitedly remarks, “Spinning is a unique workout that strengthens my muscles and keeps me in shape. I highly recommend it.”

Students who are uninterested in organized group exercise take to the fields instead.  Student athletes spend several hours after school each day practicing.  With lacrosse season coming up, several students have begun conditioning, an intense workout after school.  Although the workout may feel good that night, the next day, complaints of being sore can be heard everywhere.  Junior Ivanna Sheinberg comments, “I feel stronger for sure. It hurts my muscles all day, but it’s worth it.”

Likewise, the Fitbit, a revolutionary pedometer, has helped students to stay in shape by tracking their daily movements.  In order to reach their daily goals, users become invested in working out. There are also weekly competitions to participate in including competitions with friends and challenges to beat personal records.   Melody Khoriaty, a junior and member of the Varsity Crew team finds this device extremely useful. She explained, “I really like having a Fitbit because it’s nice that it keeps track of everything so that you can see things, like how much you move around during the day and how often you do different types of exercise.”

There is no doubt that exercise is not only good for the body but also necessary in order to prevent heart disease and other health concerns.  Too much of this intense exercise, however, could cause long term damage.  According to new evidence, long-term endurance exercise could lead to the structural remodeling of the heart and major arteries.  At Pine Crest, students sometimes end up in the trainer’s office with strained muscles and other physical injuries.  Some of these injuries are part of being an athlete. Others, however, are preventable.  Pine Crest trainer Mr. Edwards said, “While a lot of student injury is preventable by proper conditioning and rest, it is important for each student to know his or her limits and not try to push through an injury, which can set up further injury.”  Nevertheless, proper exercise with a plan and preventive measures is certainly helpful.

Sources:  Flywheel, Cycleward Studio, Fitbit, Health.CleavlandClinic.org, ncib.gov