Intervention: An Imperative Ingredient To Healthy Youth

1300 words - 5 pages

Is the recipe for a sweet, healthy adolescent lifestyle so difficult to create? It certainly appears so, as the physical well-being of our Canadian youth has evidently been rotting away over the past few decades. The issue of obesity and lack of fitness has been thoughtlessly cast aside, and this has resulted in the decline of youth vitality. From numerous articles in newspapers and news clips on television advocating better health for adolescents, it is obvious that changes to the teenage lifestyle must occur. Presently, youngsters lack sufficient knowledge and discipline to maintain a healthy lifestyle and this is having bitter repercussions on today's youth. As a result of the busy academic curriculum, Ontario students lack an adequate amount of physical exercise and education, an essential ingredient of overall well-being. Critics argue that school boards are already providing substantial support to improve adolescent fitness. However, such activities prove to be futile as students continue to be poisoned by the toxic rations at the school cafeteria which causes them to seek refuge at fast food restaurants. Clearly, this recipe for "good" health must be adjusted; the school board must take a more direct approach by enforcing mandatory physical education throughout high school and implementing stricter food guidelines for the cafeteria menus.Regular exercise is a necessary component of physical well-being but presently it is absent from many teenagers' daily lives. Due to the hectic lifestyles of teenagers today, physical exercise has frequently become secondary to education and leisure activities. Moreover, modern conveniences such as cars, elevators and remotes, have promoted inactivity. Unfortunately, many people overlook and often forget the importance of regular exercise. According to Armand Tecco M.Ed., exercising "reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and other diseases … can improve your appearance and delay the aging process … reduces stress, lifts moods, and helps you sleep better" (Tecco). Evidently, physical activity is imperative to the well-being of students. Therefore, what message is the education system relaying to students when it decides that only one high school gym credit is necessary while English and Math continue to be mandatory? Is the present and future health of Ontario youth not infinitely more important than memorizing formulas? Does physical and mental well-being not outweigh the continuous consumption of knowledge? After all, without that physical and mental well-being, what good is the acquisition of knowledge? Clearly, schools need to enforce a mandatory physical education program and implement it as a key ingredient, rather than an "add-on" spice. It is only through this that teenagers will feel motivated to exercise consistently. And for those sceptics who believe that adolescents are disciplined enough to maintain their fitness, perhaps they can answer this:...

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