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Fitness Classes

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Overview

Do your students get their daily dose of physical activity? The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that children be physically active for at least 60 minutes a day. Most students need some support and encouragement to reach this goal. Fitness classes are a great option for non-competitive physical activity while also appealing to varying levels, abilities and interests.

Take Action

Get your students moving with a few of these simple strategies:

  • Try a variety of fitness classes such as yoga, Zumba, dance, indoor cycling, Pilates, and interval training.
  • Partner with local gyms, YMCAs and fitness studios to offer free or reduced cost fitness classes at school. Start by asking partners to participate in a Family Fitness Night to build the relationship!
  • Create a classroom incentive plan for students to earn a fitness party of their choice or small non-food prizes for meeting milestones. Students earn points by tracking physical activity minutes as a class, showing good effort during brain breaks, modeling teamwork during physical activities, and being active during indoor and outdoor recess.
  • Start a Physical Activity Leaders Club (PAL) to get older students involved as role models and peer helpers for students with special needs.
  • Organize a walking club. Walking is an activity that is easy and accessible to most students, staff, and parents.
  • Purchase a few exercise DVDs and arrange a schedule and space where parents, staff, and students can come exercise together.
  • Develop an after-school intramural program with the support of teachers and volunteers. After-school intramurals allow students to experience a variety of physical sports and games without the level of competition found in traditional sports programs.
  • Get Your Groove On: Lead simple dance classes with students before or right after that first bell rings. It encourages students to show up to school on time, ready to learn. You can also recruit the dance or cheerleading team or local fitness and dance instructors to lead the class. Don’t make dance moves too complicated (and be inclusive of students with disabilities), vary the music style while making sure it’s fun and hip, and let students get involved in the choreography. Check out Just Dance videos on YouTube for more inspiration.

Tips

Ask students to pledge to be physically active for 60 minutes every day.

Encourage staff and parents to participate in activities. Students are more likely to participate if they see the adults in their life moving along with them.

Get students and families involved in deciding types of activities to offer.

Encourage, encourage, encourage! Create a supportive environment that is inclusive of all ages, abilities, and fitness goals.

Share progress. Create a bulletin board for participants to log their physical activity minutes and type of activities they participated in that week or month.

Engage volunteers! Volunteers can provide an extra helping hand or a needed, valuable skill set. Recruit a parent, teacher or community volunteer who is a fitness instructor and have them lead a monthly fitness class, or organize a before/after school program for students.