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A Fitness Revolution

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This year gym teachers in Hopedale, Massachusetts introduced non-conventional ways for students to improve their physical and psychological health, according to Milford Daily News. Thanks to a $40,000 two-year federal grant, local teachers already started using unorthodox fitness activities like rock climbing, stability balls, riding fitness bikes, and dancing to the trendy video game “Dance, Dance, Revolution.” Next year, they plan to introduce the Nintendo Wii game system, which was created to let gamers physically move by playing tennis, bowling, or boxing against a computer simulator.

The fitness program promotes physical health and focuses on the “intangibles” of school life. Students are encouraged to show positive behaviors through role-playing and visual lessons, according to Memorial Park Elementary School teacher Christine Cappbianca. Teachers seem enthusiastic about the new changes and hope that “this system will decrease discipline referrals,” said Patty Armour, high school math teacher.

5 Comments

A wonderful idea except for the Wii. Re-think about spending money on something else. To date - Wii seems to do the opposite for young people in terms of fitness. It's fun but the fitness level, number active at one time, and the indoor side of this doesn't help in the long run. It is better than watching TV, great for rehab and fun.

If elementary school need Wii to replace P.E. - we remain in trouble. Buy some rope, sticks, a few balls, find a hiking path, build a fort out of snow. Research the best 50 city/country games played in your area and introduce them to your kids.

Please accept this comment from a retired P.E. teacher/director of 34 years and current sport and recreation safety consultant in the positive way it is offered.

I agree about the outdoors and playing but he wii might hook some of the generation and then their enthusiasm for a sport might flourish or the fitness bug may lift them from the couch. I own one and love it. My son played while he had a cast on and he loved the competition against himself. Play it once or twice and see.

I work at a public school in the Bronx and we use many alternative methods to teach fitness. Our school was built without a gym and has forced us to think outside the box. We currently use the wii occasionally with our students. Once or twice a month on the weekend a teacher will take kids hiking or rock climbing. We provide memberships to gyms. And support our students in whatever independent fitness they are engaged in. Gym class is about encouraging students to continue to be active outside of school. Not many students continue the activities they were participated in when they were in school. We need to expose our students to fitness experiences that are sustainable for them in the future.

To Anonymous - We have a good P.E program in our school, but another teacher/administrator and I in our school are looking for ways to create closer connections between the school and neighborhood. We are hoping to convince the Recreation Center across from the school to offer students discounts or guest passes or something. The cost is so high neither the school or most of our families can afford it. How neighborly is that?!

Wii Fitness is an excellent supplement to structured and non-structured PE when implemented on a whole-class level.

We've shown that using ONE Wii Fit with multiple Active Fitness Boards can be used as a regular, structured fitness regimen for all ages. Regular, structured AND enjoyable fitness routines provide the best results.
Wii Fitness is now a group fitness program, when used as a "digital trainer" and implemented as one of the structured portions of any fitness program.

Teachers have been searching for "the best" way to implement Wii Fit in the class PE environment.

Here it is! WiiFitKids.org

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Recent Comments

  • Jeff K: Wii Fitness is an excellent supplement to structured and non-structured read more
  • Nancy Hahn: To Anonymous - We have a good P.E program read more
  • Anonymous: I work at a public school in the Bronx and read more
  • lynne: I agree about the outdoors and playing but he wii read more
  • Dick Borkowski: A wonderful idea except for the Wii. Re-think about spending read more

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