Fitness Different Than PE

One of the things I appreciate about @CTL Academy under the direction of Dr. @agodialagbe is their bell schedule and the inclusion of both physical education and fitness. The distinction between the two is that physical education is taught by an experienced PE teacher and fitness is included as part of the whole school practice.

The goal of fitness specifically besides burning some extra energy before academics is to promote a healthy lifestyle thereafter. The hope is that students accept that part of life includes a healthy body achieved through physical fitness and nutrition.

Research has proven that physical fitness not only establishes good habits but also improves students’ in-class concentration. Personally I find that after I work out I am able to better sit and focus as my body has exerted the extra energy stored up from sitting too long or after a night’s rest.

Recommended levels of vigorous- or moderate-intensity physical activity for youth are more likely to be achieved and sustained in the school setting if students, administrators, teachers, and supportive policies and environments are integrated….

Physical activity during classroom time or activity breaks during lessons may contribute to reduced sedentary time during the school day and increase the amount of light- and moderate-intensity activity among students.

Today, 46 percent of U.S. children aged 6-11 fail to meet the recommendation of less than 2 hours of recreational sedentarism (screen time) per day (Fakhouri et al., 2013). In addition to the nonrecreational sedentarism that occurs while children sit to perform schoolwork,
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2013. Educating the Student Body: Taking Physical Activity and Physical Education to School. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Teachers at CTL Academy promote fitness as part of their weekly bell schedule and movement in their own classrooms. They are conscience of how much sitting students do and when there is an opportunity to move the include it. It could be as simple as a quick morning stretch at the start of the class period or a burst of cardio in the middle of a class period between activities. Raising teachers’ awareness of the importance of physical movement helps with students’ attitudes, concentration and overall state of happiness though they do sometimes move slowly in the upper grades.

For more formal programs there is a plethora of online resource that allows teachers to put on a video and together with their students follow along. Since COVID 19 the number of fitness videos on YouTube have exploded. Teachers/ schools could choose to play one of these and have the students and staff follow along. As the video is playing it is important to pay attention to student form so that they don’t cause themselves any injuries and to emphasize that students should only do what their body is comfortable with. Making sure students know their limits individually is important so that peer pressure does not creep in.

Here is a list of a few go-tos: (Note that none of these are affiliates- they are all ones that I used personally and can recommend.)

Joe Wicks: The Body CoachJoe during Covid launched a PE with Joe series targeting the UK and serving the world. He offers a series of kid-friendly HIIT* workouts on various levels.
Juice & ToyaVery relatable African American couple that provides a variety of 15-30 minute workouts. Their directions are clear with good timings and usually offers modifications for movements. Would be good for older kids.
Yoga w/ AdrieneSince before 2015 Adriene has been posting yoga videos on YouTube available to the masses. She has a very bubbly personality that keeps the Yoga practice light.
Water Fitness w/ StacyIf there is a pool available this fitness program would be great as an alternative to swimming laps. Stacy teaches a HIIT version of water exercises.
FunkRobertsFunk Roberts is a great inspiration especially for adults. He targets men over 40 and is fab for both men and women. He too has a range of formats and some with equipment and some with bodyweight only.
PopSugar FitnessThis site features a variety of different classes including fitness, dance, hip hop, … and includes all types of people and body types. Usually they have one person doing modifications and one person doing an advanced with the trainer in the middle.
MadFitThis trainer offers a large variety of different courses and options. Her newer videos are more polished.
*HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training

Looking forward to more schools adopting this practice of building in regular fitness for both their students and staff. Combining fitness awareness with nutrition will be a game changer for preparing the next generation of adults.

Published by marasimmons

A passionate educator turned world traveler embarking on a nomadic lifestyle with my family. Learning to appreciate a life where we have the privilege of choosing our destiny and embracing it.

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