Lifetime Fitness Class Creates Positive Environment For Students

Push Up plank stock photo

For many high school students, physical education can be the most dreaded class period of the day. From the fear of failure to the anxiety of social pressures, many students have negative associations with physical activity and exercise. However, De Pere High School in Wisconsin has created an environment to combat these concerns. The Lifetime Fitness classes help to build students’ confidence and comfort with exercising.


When Nicole Haese first revamped the Lifetime Fitness course, she had 1-2 sections a year. Now, the school has 8 to 10 course sections per year. As a result, De Pere students are building lifelong fitness skills that they can tap into for the rest of their lives. 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.”

Building A Foundation Of Confidence In Lifetime Fitness 


The Lifetime Fitness course is an 18-week semester long at De Pere. And because the class meets 5-days a week, Nicole structures the semester to start all students with a strong foundation in the basic skills of fitness, 


First, Nicole taps into PLT4M’s Intro To Fitness lesson plans, where students learn and practice fundamental movements like the squat, lunge, hinge, press, and pull. Nicole says that this is a great place to start with students who are hesitant about fitness, 


“One of the biggest advantages is the self-paced structure that PLT4M allows us to follow. There is a big emphasis on scaling and modifying for students to find the right fit for their experience and comfort level.” 


Because of this self-paced structure, Nicole has seen the program resonate with a wide range of students at the school. For example, Nicole says that the program is a massive success with the female students at De Pere, 


“The Lifetime Fitness classes have a large percentage of female students. Over the semester, you can see the girls build confidence in fitness. Better yet, they start to get excited as they see progress and improvement.” 


And Nicole explains how the self-paced nature has been beneficial for students with special needs as well, 


“Lifetime Fitness is a great fit for our population of students with special needs. The ability with PLT4M to modify and adjust workouts to fit different students’ needs is awesome.” 


Check out a PLT4M Instructional Video breaking down the push-up and how to scale it with elevation. 

From Foundation To Future Opportunities At De Pere 


After Nicole starts students out with a strong foundation, she sees the students ready for a new set of challenges, both physically and mentally,  


“The students start to build strength and confidence in how they move and think about fitness.” 


From the first steps with bodyweight movements, Nicole starts to introduce weights and some basic equipment, 


“We have limited space and equipment for the Lifetime Fitness classes, but you can do a lot with a little. Even some small additions go a long way with helping students continue growing on their fitness journeys.” 


Nicole, who has a background in kinesiology, loves leading and developing the class curriculum but says that PLT4M has been an excellent addition to her personal experiences, 


“Before PLT4M, I spent a lot of time searching for resources and print-outs, trying to create the right approach in class. But now, I have everything in one place, making lesson planning, tracking progress, and working with students much easier.” 


As a result of technology in physical education, Nicole can also utilize PLT4M to track and measure progress throughout the semester, 


“We do fitness assessments at the beginning, middle, and end of the semester. All of the data lives within PLT4M, which gives the students a good place to track and monitor their progress and growth.” 

With PLT4M, students can see and track progress with any exercise they want!

Seeing Progress And Improvement In Lifetime Fitness 


While many of the students at De Pere first walk into Lifetime Fitness a bit hesitant, they have a new level of confidence by the end of the semester. Nicole attributes this confidence to students’ ability to see and connect with the progress and improvement they have made, 


“Students can be pretty critical of themselves. But as we get later in the semester, it is nice to have students start seeing progress and improvement. It gives context that can often be missing.” 


To help students see and feel this progress, Nicole encourages the practice of SMART Goals, where students set and track individual goals, 


“It allows for self-reflection and helps students see what they have accomplished. Maybe a workout we did earlier in the semester felt easier; you went faster, or got more reps. Whatever the metric is, it helps students see how much they have grown, even in just a semester.” 

SMART Goals acronym described - specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-based.
SMART Goals acronym described - specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-based.
Image of female lifter with data graph and laptop

Ready To Learn More?

Discover how PE teachers across the country are embracing Fitness and Technology to usher in a new age of Physical Education that inspires and motivates students toward positive outcomes. 

Key Takeaways On De Pere’s Lifetime Fitness Success 


While De Pere High School still offers different games-based and weightlifting electives, the Lifetime Fitness class has opened up new student opportunities. Nicole, who describes herself as someone who loves physical education, knows that classes need to connect with students who don’t necessarily share that same passion for PE, 


“I want my students to find something that works for them. They don’t need to love it, but over time, they should see the benefits and understand the importance. And if we can get them to enjoy it in the process, we have achieved our mission.” 


As De Pere continues to grow in class size and Lifetime Fitness classes, the school showcases the power of PE for all. Nicole, who is always eager to improve and grow, says this is just the beginning of an awesome initiative that started over 10 years ago, 


“We have come a long way and are proud of what we have helped our students accomplish. But as PLT4M continues to grow and evolve what it offers in technology and curriculum, we will adapt and grow to find the best ways to connect with our students. I am excited for future years of growth and progress.” 

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