How to Incorporate Exercise in the Classroom

In the United States, childhood obesity is a growing epidemic. Poor nutrition and increasingly sedentary lifestyles are putting children at risk for serious health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Fortunately, adults can help stop this trend in its tracks.

School age children spend most of their time inside a classroom. Apart from gym or recess, they’re glued to a desk for hours on end. To increase physical activity, some teachers are making movement a part of their daily curriculum.

Research suggests exercise has a positive impact on both mental and physical health. It can improve brain function, while also lowering the risk of depression and anxiety.

Here are six easy ways to get active in the classroom.

Take a Stand – For just five minutes a day, encourage students to stand up and stretch their limbs. Not only will this improve flexibility, but it will also refresh and refocus the mind.

Get Dramatic – Turn a language lesson into a game of charades by having students act out different words or scenarios. It’s a great way to get them on their feet, while sparking their imaginations.

Scavenger Hunt – Nothing is more intriguing than a good mystery. Place kids into small groups and have them search for hidden items within the class. This activity engages critical thinking and puts problem-solving skills to the test.

Embrace Nature – Are you studying plants, birds or insects? If the weather permits, head outside and see each specimen up close and personal. Feel free to observe, take notes, and discuss your findings. It’s a hands-on approach to learning that includes fresh air and a brief walk.

Fitness Dice – Eager to break up the monotony? Keep students on their toes with a roll of the dice. This plush duo features various exercises with corresponding reps that students can perform.

Go Digital: There is digital content specifically designed to promote physical activity in classrooms. They feature interactive lessons that teach movement, mindfulness and healthy nutrition. Some great examples are Take10 and GoNoodle.

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 Photo credit: svetikd

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