Online Gym: It’s a legitimate credit, if done right


Katie Lehman

drawn by Katie Lehman

by Katie Lehman, Editor

With the power of the internet, more learning tools have become available for students all over the world. Now with online classes, students have more opportunities to take a wider range of classes on their own schedule–in the summer and during the school year.

Gym class is one of the classes that students now have the opportunity to take online. Although some people think online gym isn’t as effective as taking the actual class in school, but there are many benefits to taking online gym.

Not only does your schedule have more room for different classes in school, but also you can work at your own pace with online class. You can moderate your exercise on your own and don’t have to push yourself too hard. You also learn the same amount, if not more, of the basic concepts you’re meant to be taught in gym class.

Online gym is the most beneficial to students who can’t be as physically active as others. Whether it’s from a physical or mental ailment, the online course allows the teen to work at a comfortable pace. It can be hard for students with physical ailments to participate in actual gym because the only ones who know their limit is the student with the mental or physical limitation.

From personal experience, pushing your limits in gym isn’t good. It’s true that sometimes you have to push yourself to succeed, but pushing yourself to the limits of your health isn’t safe. Online gym allows you to exercise to your own capable extent while still being able to participate in the assigned activities.

Online gym was far different than what I thought it would be. Online gym is much more work and isn’t just an easy out for students. The class was enough to get me active, but flexible enough that I could go at my own pace to prevent straining myself more with my muscle disorder. It also gave me more opportunity in school for taking more classes I wanted to take.

Online gym can help prevent bullying as well. While throughout middle school I was excluded and bullied for not being able to participate in gym class, due to my fibromyalgia, the online class allow me to pace myself and do a little at a time.

While the class online is helpful, there are a few things that those who take it should be aware of. Although you can work at your own pace, you have to be sure to save the paper they give you with the due dates of each activity for the entire course. If your pace involves doing everything in short bursts near the last minute, then this class probably shouldn’t be taken online because the teachers are actively communicating with you through email about any missing work.

“It wasn’t like a gym class because most of it was reading, and there was only one log you had to do a week which had very little fitness. I would recommend it for people who don’t like exercise or can’t physically do a lot of it,” said freshman Maddie Kahler, who took the course online.

The class itself is easy to manage as you can do it anywhere if you have a phone with you. However, there is a course fee of $50.00. But if you qualify for free lunches, or reduced lunches, the price will change. If you qualify for free lunch, the class costs nothing, if you qualify for reduced lunch then the course costs $25.00. To sign up for the course, it must be done in advance to ensure you get in, as the seats fill up quickly.

Even though online gym is a good alternative, there are some downsides to the program. Given that it is relatively new, there are quirks and issues in the system. During my first term, multiple students across different schools and classes had issues with the teachers receiving emails because the fire wall for the program blocked them out. While those problems did get resolved, there are still bumps in the system.

There is a lot of reading and typing that you have to do. You also only get one copy of the list of due dates, so if you misplace it, you won’t know when anything is due until it is already put in as a late grade.

Another downside is that if you miss any of the meetings in person at the designated school, you can’t continue the course, so you have to clear your schedule completely. Not only do you have to make sure you are there at the time and day, but also you also need to have reliable transportation.

The downsides to the program don’t necessarily overshadow the good parts of the program, but the opposite is true as well. While the class is a good alternative for students who may have problems like asthma, fibromyalgia, or any other ailment that prevents them from participating to the full extent, then online gym is probably the best option if you have the means to do it. But if you’re a student who can participate in physical activity, then the in school class is most likely more enjoyable and has less of a reading and writing work load.

Even if you personally don’t take the class, there’s no denying that online gym is an important alternative to have available to students.