- Fitness

Connect the Fitness, Fun Fit Tips for Educators Looking to Inspire Healthy Lifestyles for Grade School Age Kids


When it comes to our kids’ health, we want to inspire them. We see everything they could become and we want them to see it for themselves. We try to inspire kids so they want to live a healthy and active lifestyle, so they can reach the potential we see in them. But where does that inspiration come from? How can kids see the creation of a healthy lifestyle as a fun thing? How do we make learning about health and fitness something they can actively participate in? And most importantly how can we inspire the kids in a way where they take responsibility for the development of their fit and active lifestyle?

It seems like a tall order. But the key here is inspiration. It might seem like a hard won commodity, but all my experiences as a trainer have proven that inspiring health starts with one simple step:

Believing in their potential, showing them you believe, and engaging them to find and create their own healthy lifestyle.

Another way to think about this simple step comes from the relationship between a trainer and a client. A good trainer always acts a coach for their client; while the client strives in competition with themselves, challenging themselves to reach their goals and meet their potential.

When it comes to our kids, our job as educators is the same: Help the kids see their potential, instill the skills and knowledge they can use to create their own healthy lifestyle, and let them have some fun doing it.

An incredibly fun example of an activity that we can do with our kids to inspire the creation of a healthy lifestyle is the “Healthy and Fit Olympics”. In this activity the entire class is one team competing against themselves, with the teacher playing the coach. This way the entire class acts a team trying to beat their own personal bests from the beginning of the competition. At the end of the year, the champions (everyone who beats their own personal bests) get medals that the class can design for themselves. And if the entire class as a team reaches all their goals: the entire class gets a trophy.

The activity starts at the beginning of the year: the kids make a movie, comprised of interviews with each kid and footage of each kid participating in a physical activity. Then all year long the class trains to become “healthy and fit champions”.

A big component of the “Healthy and Fit Olympics” is the activities to get ready for the competition. Some prime examples of multi-faceted “training” activities come from adapting the old stand-by: the relay race into a fun hybrid of a race with strong emphasis on nutrition.

Relay Race One: Racing Towards Health
Have the kids trace an outline of a healthy body and post in on a wall as a goal. Then have each group of racers cut out seven pictures of healthy foods/activities. Have the kids use the healthy pictures as the hand-off racing the healthy pictures towards the goal. Whatever team’s Body is full of the healthy pictures first wins. (UPGYM will even provide your class trophies for the winning teams).

Relay Race Two: Connecting the Fitness
Have the class decide on a picture of health, then make an outline of the picture—in dots. Each kid then picks a dot and races towards a spot on the floor corresponding to their dot’s location on the picture. When all the kids are in their places, you get involved by running around “connecting their dots” thus finishing the picture.

Some Other Training Activities
• Agility: Eraser drills
• Speed: Sprinting drills
• Coordination: Playing catch, throwing medicine balls
• Flexibility: Lunges and squats
• Balance: Single leg hops
For examples of these and other activities visit: www.survivalseattle.com]

At the end of the year videotape the competition and the award ceremony and watch it with the kids. They will have worked hard all year to learn about what makes a healthy lifestyle. Letting them watch their performance will solidify the fact that they reached their goals and lived up to their potential. Their experiences over the year training to become a “Healthy and Fit Champion” will carry on, providing them with self-confidence and skills to live a healthy and fit life.

It all starts with inspiration. If we believe in our kids, and challenge them to set their own goals and reach their potential—if they know you believe they can do it and their whole class (as their team) is rooting for them—They will become the champions of their own fitness.


Source by Cody Moss, N.a.s.m. Cpt

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