Physical education plays a pivotal role in long-term health and wellness. Through PE, students can build lifetime fitness skills that they can continue using well past graduation. PE teachers Chris Cabe and Allison Lima understand the importance of setting students up for a lifetime of fitness.
Chris, now in his 17th year of teaching, says that Old Rochester PE has always centered around lifetime fitness,
“We always tell the students that it isn’t just about what you are doing as a high school student in PE, but what you can do as an adult for the rest of your life.”
Allison, a first-year PE teacher, was excited to join Chris in the mission of instilling lifelong fitness,
“A lot of fitness can be intimidating. But physical education can help students build confidence that will carry with them for years to come.”
To achieve a lifetime fitness approach, Old Rochester starts every student with an Intro to PE class and then opens up various electives to choose from. Let’s look closer at how Old Rochester is building lifetime fitness skills!
Lifetime Fitness Starts With Intro To Physical Education
To start every student out with a strong foundation, Old Rochester requires 9th and 10th graders to complete an Intro To Physical Education course. The Intro to PE class focuses on introducing students to a wide variety of lifetime activities. For example, the class exposes students to tennis, ultimate frisbee, weight training, pickleball, and more lifetime fitness activities.
Allison, 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.”
After completing the Intro to Physical Education course, students can choose from a list of electives offered at Old Rochester High School. The electives include:
- Fitness For Life
- Weight Training
- Movement Arts
- Recreational Activities
- Racquet Sports
- Team Sports
Fitness For Life
Fitness for Life is a new elective at Old Rochester that takes a deeper dive into the fitness center and weight room. While students got a taste of the fitness center and weight room during Intro to PE, Allison says this class takes students’ confidence to the next level,
“The class is a direct extension of our Intro to PE class. But now we have a full semester to really go over all things fitness and strength training.”
To introduce students to a wide range of exercises and movements, Allison uses PLT4M’s Intro To Strength program. She explains how the videos and resources take the intimidation factor out of the weight room,
“The PLT4M videos are an invaluable resource for students. And because they focus on form and technique, students build confidence that will help them know they can eventually go workout independently.”
The videos also prove to be a valuable resource for the paraprofessionals in the class working with the adaptive PE students. Allison says that PLT4M has helped to make lifetime fitness possible for every student,
“We can modify and adjust workouts so every student can explore lifetime fitness. For example, the other day, we modified a deadlift to a different exercise for our adaptive students, and they still got to have a great workout and built new fitness skills.”
Bonus Content! This is a sample video from PLT4M’s Intro To Strength program used at Old Rochester High School.
Weight training is one of the most popular electives at Old Rochester High School. With three sections of the class, Chris keeps the mission of lifetime fitness at the forefront for all students,
“The emphasis is on form, technique, and functional movement mechanics that will help students in sports or everyday life.”
To help drive home the lifetime fitness approach in the weight training classes, Chris uses PLT4M as a resource. Each student accesses personalized workouts on their school-issued Chromebook. Chris sees the workouts and lessons within PLT4M as a crucial component of instilling lifelong fitness,
“The PLT4M workouts include a warm-up, main lift, accessory movements, and a finisher. In class, I explain and outline why each part is helping to build the total picture of lifelong fitness.”
On top of format and structure, the workouts also let students know when they are making progress. Chris sees this as a huge motivating factor for students,
“When the students see progress or that they are a top performer, they get excited and keep working hard in class.”
Movement Arts is an excellent choice for students who aren’t as interested in the fitness and weight room but still want to work out. In this class, students complete yoga, mobility, flexibility, mindfulness, and dance fitness lessons.
Allison rolls out the big cheerleading mats and displays lessons on a Promethean Board. From there, Allison can walk around the classroom and give hands-on feedback to students,
“The videos are awesome because they show a modified and more intense variation of different movements. This helps me encourage students to find the right fit and build up to more intense versions as they gain strength and confidence.”
Bonus Content! Check out our new bodyweight bootcamp program with Coach Mike and Dani showing different movement variations and modifications so every student can get a great workout!
Recreational Activities, Racquet Sports, & Team Sports
On top of the three fitness-focused electives, Old Rochester offers three more activity-based electives. Recreational activities, racquet sports, and team sports are all options for students to find ways to stay physically active.
Chris says these different electives help to round out the full course offering at Old Rochester,
“Fitness is different for everyone. Some kids love a good workout. Others want to play a game and get moving. We have something for everyone at Old Rochester!”
Key Takeaways on Old Rochester’s Lifetime Fitness Approach
Old Rochester’s physical education program reflects the world we live in. With a wide variety of fitness options, students can explore and learn fitness skills that will last them a lifetime.
Chris and Allison demonstrate how much is possible in PE, even with only two teachers leading the charge. From establishing a foundation to building on interests, Old Rochester equips the next generation with lifetime fitness skills. As more schools consider the role of physical education in a student’s high school experience, they should consider a lifetime fitness approach like Old Rochester.