In almost every student government campaign speech, candidates advocated for the removal of run days. The majority of students feel strongly about getting rid of the twenty minute runs that we all experience during some point of the school year. However, myself and many others still believe that the value of run days is underestimated and should be recognized by the student body.
Several students have offered alternatives to run days, which includes replacing them with various sports. Playing basketball in the gym instead of running sounds fun, yet a handful would end up standing around in the corner of the room and not get the exercise they would have received during a run day. Another proposal that has been made is that in-season athletes should not have to participate in run days. These proponents argue that athletes already get the exercise they need during a practice or a game. That is a viable proposal, yet students will take advantage of the rule. It will be difficult for the school to verify whether a student is actually getting the exercise equivalent to a twenty minute run during practice.
Overall, a number of these individuals do not understand that run days offer more benefits than just physical gains. Exercising also enhances brain activity and alleviates stress. Therefore, teens could not be exercising at a better time than right in the middle of the school day. Students should use run days to listen to music, talk to friends, or just relax in a relieving environment.
Personally, one complaint that I have with run days is the redundancy of running in circles around the track. Now that we use Runkeeper, which tracks average pace as well as the route at which a student ran, we should be able to run to different places around town. We are all old enough to handle running on our own. If students were able to run along the stream across from RHS or at the duck pond, run days would get much more positive feedback.
Although students dread run days, once everyone starts running, we all realize that it is not as big of a deal as we make it out to be. Before you know it, the teacher blows the whistle and it is over. Run days may be unpopular, but they are the only exercise that some students get in a day and should not be removed from our school’s wellness curriculum.
Graphic: Luca Richman