Lifetime Fitness Activities

A student practices her badminton skills with a teacher.

Physical education plays a crucial role in shaping the health and fitness habits of individuals from an early age. Lifetime fitness activities are workouts, exercises, and sports that people can continue to enjoy and benefit from at any stage of their lives, regardless of their age or fitness level. Incorporating these activities into physical education programs is essential for fostering a love for fitness that can last a lifetime. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of lifetime fitness activities in physical education and provide examples for class and life beyond.

What Are Lifetime Fitness Activities?


Lifetime fitness activities are physical activities, workouts, and exercises that can be performed throughout the course of a person’s entire life. Better yet, lifetime fitness activities can be adapted and scaled to support an active lifestyle for individuals of all backgrounds, abilities, and fitness levels.


Lifetime fitness activities include:

  • Walking/Jogging/Running

  • Strength Training

  • Yoga

  • Pilates

  • Dance

  • Swimming

  • Lifetime Sports (Tennis, Pickleball, Tennis, Golf, etc.)

  • Outdoor Activities (Hiking, Rock Climbing, Biking)

student playing pickleball
There are a wide range of lifetime fitness activities like pickleball pictured here.

Importance of Lifetime Fitness Activities In Physical Education


Over the years, many physical education classes have shifted to a focus on lifetime fitness activities. While traditional games and sports have long been popular physical activity options, PE teachers have turned to lifetime fitness activities to promote long-term active lifestyles.


Although sports like basketball, soccer, and football are fun for students in class, only a small percentage of adults continue playing these sports as adults. In fact, only 1 in 4 adults report still playing the sports they participated in as children. 


Therefore, physical education teachers turn to lifetime fitness activities to instill lifetime fitness skills that students can benefit from well into adulthood. By exposing students to a wide variety of lifetime fitness activities, PE teachers are building students’ confidence and comfort in an array of different lifelong fitness opportunities.


As a result, students are more likely to find a physical activity option that they like now and that they can continue into adulthood. Better yet, many students find multiple lifetime fitness activities to add to their exercise repertoire.

Key Factors For Lifetime Fitness Activity Success


There are endless lifetime fitness activities to choose from, so where do you start in physical education class.


First, start with a strong foundation in functional fitness. Foundational human movement skills like squat, lunge, hinge, press, and pull will transition to almost every single other lifetime fitness activity. Building a strong foundation will set students up for long term success.


Next, provide student choice and voice. Students will have different interests and goals that they will want to explore within lifelong fitness. Allow students to try and experiment so that they can find things they like, don’t like, and love.


Finally, don’t go at it alone. Learn from best practices and how other schools are doing it and tap into the best quality resources and PE lesson plans that can support your mission to instill lifelong fitness. More on this below!

Students participate in different types of fitness activities like weightlifting, yoga, and bootcamp.
Students participate in different types of fitness activities like weightlifting, yoga, and bootcamp.

Schools In Action – Lifetime Fitness PE


There is no shortage of schools transitioning to a lifetime fitness activities curriculum model. Across the country, PE teachers are pushing for students to explore and expand their fitness skills through a lifetime fitness focus.


De Pere High School – Wisconsin


For example, at De Pere High School in Wisconsin, Nicole Haese has built a Lifetime Fitness class that has been a tremendous success for her students. When Nicole first revamped the Lifetime Fitness course, she had 1-2 sections a year. Now, the school has 8 to 10 course sections per year. Nicole says that the Lifetime Fitness classes have been a game-changer for students at De Pere, 


“Many students start the semester unsure, even nervous, of what they can achieve. But over the semester, students start to see progress and improvement that boosts self-confidence and comfort in fitness. That is what it is all about.”

Hutsonville High School – Illinois


At Hutsonville High School in Illinois, Randy Hawkins has also seen the impact of a lifetime fitness activities curriculum. After seeing many students getting bored with doing the same thing, he transitioned to opening up a variety of choices for students,


“The setup allows students to see all the different ways you can get a really good workout. So students have ownership and can take a personalized approach to finding a fitness plan that will help support their goals and interests. The students are enjoying the new approach to physical education. They have many different options that all help them move and be physically active in a way that suits them.” 

Old Rochester High School – Massachusetts


Finally, at Old Rochester High School in Massachusetts, every student starts with an Intro to PE class and then opens up various electives to choose from. The Intro to PE class focuses on introducing students to a wide variety of lifetime fitness activities. For example, the class exposes students to tennis, ultimate frisbee, weight training, pickleball, and more lifetime fitness activities. 


Allison Lima, who leads most of these classes, explains the role the course plays in the big picture of lifetime fitness, 


“With smaller units, students try different activities while building lifelong skills. If they like the activity in the unit, they can explore it further in 11th and 12th-grade electives. If they don’t love it (which they won’t always), students at least have the basic skills they can tap into down the road.” 

3 Free Lifetime Fitness Activities Lessons


PLT4M has a wide range of different lifetime fitness activities to support PE teachers and students in physical education. Want to take a deep dive into the different lifetime fitness activities? Check out any of the below links to explore free lesson plans and materials for different types of activities ranging from strength training and free weights to yoga and dance.



As an added bonus, below are 3 free samples of full follow-along lessons from PLT4M from the yoga, spin, and boot camp workouts!



Yoga has quickly become one of the most popular options for PE classes that are looking for lifetime fitness activities. Whether you have given versions of yoga a try or have never done it before, these upcoming lessons will help you build the basic foundational principles of yoga. Throughout this full program, we will introduce a variety of standing, twisting, balancing, core, hip, and spine positions that are widely considered to be the essentials of yoga.


Within the program, you can follow along with the videos as Lulu breaks down the movements in detail, guides students through different progressions, and provides various scaling modifications for those who need them. The goal is to get comfortable with these poses in our bodies and start to move mindfully from one pose to another.





With the rise of Peleton and other options, spin has become another incredibly popular lifetime fitness activity. Follow along with Marguerite as she takes you through a fun-30 minute workout to the beat of the music. Each spin workout will give you an opportunity to challenge yourself on the bike with different intervals, hills, sprints, and more!


Each spin workout is a full follow along workout set to the beat of the music. Students start each workout by getting warmed up on the bike. From there, each new song during the workout brings a different focus and challenge. Workouts are coached by using a perceived level of exertion scale so that students with any fitness level can find the right level of intensity. 

Bodyweight Bootcamp


Bodyweight bootcamp is an interval training class for all fitness levels making it great for lifetime fitness activities curriculum. This program guides students through a full-body follow-along workout. With a combination of strength training and cardio, this program is designed to help students find new boundaries that challenge muscular endurance and strength. In addition, these workouts will introduce students to a wide range of exercises and movement variations to make fitness fun and engaging. 


Key Takeaways on Lifetime Fitness Activities


Lifelong fitness starts in physical education. The goal of incorporating lifetime fitness activities in physical education is to encourage and support students on a physical literacy journey.


Key takeaways to lifetime fitness activities in physical education include:

  • Build a strong foundation – Students will succeed when they have a chance to learn and develop the basic skills of lifetime fitness activities

  • Mirror real world options – Take a look at the most popular lifetime fitness activities like strength training, yoga, spin, and more and work to incorporate them for your students.

  • Encourage exploration and choice – Every student is different. Help them find the lifetime fitness activities that suit their goals, interests, and needs.

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