Friday, 10 February 2012

Fitness for Kids

You will notice I have put a brand new video clip on the side.  It is a great way for you to get to know me a little bit better.   I have used this video in a competition entry for the Wiggle 2012 Athlete Search.  Please could you click here and vote for me.  Every vote counts!

Now for today's entry:

As an athlete, parent and teacher I am a great believer in the importance of regular physical activity for kids!

Obviously there are many ways of improving fitness but in my mind as a runner of many years there are not many forms of exercise that can be organised as easily as runner. You don't need any fancy gear but only some space and a willingness to put your body through some discomfort to enable it to become stronger. As long as it is progressive and continues to build on a base fitness stamina will develop as it is challenged to respond to increasing levels of activity. I think running is the purest form of exercise!

I know there will be people out there reading this who will have contrary arguments and I have some of my own on the merits of other forms of exercise. I'm sure swimmers and cyclists might argue that their sport is better because it gets similar benefits with less impact on the body.

This post is really to explain how I bring my philosophy on fitness to the school environment.

As teachers we have a responsibility to ensure we provide regular opportunities for children to improve their fitness. A brief swimming programme allows chidren who would not otherwise get to a pool to enjoy swimming and it's significant benefits. There are locomotive skills taught, gymnastics, team sports and related ball skills but I like to give children also regular running that allows them to improve their stamina through sustained walking / running.

This brings me finally to the trigger for my entry today! Every start of the year I commence what I call the Cone Run. It is a simple concept! On our top field I put out 10 cones spaced evenly around the outside of our school field.


The distance is about 300 metrs [200 yards]. The challenge is to walk / run for 5 minutes seeing how many cones they can achieve! This fitness activity is really popular and effective as it is self monitoring, measurable and allows extra challenge for those who want to extend themselves. The children keep a chart to measure their progress over time. Regular Cone Runs throughout the year leads well into the Cross Country season. Goals can be set for competing in School and Inter - School Competition and participation in other harrier and fun run events. Can also often be a good lead in to participation in Duathlons and Triathlons!

Today Room 1 started the Cone Run programme and most children really enjoyed their first efforts!

At the start of the run

Top of the Field

It is exciting for children to set themselves challenges to improve their fitness! I look forward to seeing their growing stamina and the sense of achievement and well being that this brings!

1 comment:

Lea said...

It sounds like a great activity! Do you do it only with your class or with other students as well?