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Aaron Beighle challenges the outlook on the role fitness plays in physical education. Shifting the goal from kids being fit to kids being physically active, this allows students to grow independently in their physical needs. “Everybody, do 10 push-ups,” as Beighle describes, is assuming a mass prescription for your classroom. In reality, 10 push-ups may reach the needs of one student but not of another. Fitness needs to be more meaningful and educational. Some kids may have less genetic abilities than others, but each student can learn how to be physically active within their personal abilities. 

What does physical activity include?

  • Dance
  • Exercise
  • Sports
  • Recreation
  • Leisure Activities

How can your classroom engage students in physical activity?

It is important to expose students to a variety of physical activities. This can be implemented with interval training, which allows students to try many forms of physical activity and use their creativity. Games like tag, Scavenger Hunts, and Jump Rope intervals allow students to move around while having fun.

Four corners is an exercise where students move from one cone to the next. Each cone has an image of different actions, which they must complete on their way to the next cone.

Instruction materials provide technique information. These help teachers spend less time explaining and engage more with each student’s goals.

When secondary students create their own routines they learn how to implement these activities outside the classroom. Exposing students to the weight room teaches proper etiquette, helping them to gain confidence in their independence. Fitness self-testing educates students on the various exercises, which impact their health. This helps them discover new ways to meet their physical goals. Leading to a positive outlook on physical activity, and a clearer understanding of how he/she can implement physical activity into his/her own life.

About the Presenter:
Aaron Beighle holds a Ph.D. from Arizona State University specializing physical education and physical activity for youth. He is currently a faculty member in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Beighle has worked with school districts, recreation programs, and youth sport organizations across the country in their efforts to maximize physical activity experiences and promote youth to be physically active for a lifetime. He is the author and co-author of more than 80 research-based and practical articles. In addition, through his writings, speaking, trainings, and training development work, Dr. Beighle has been a leading advocate for Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs. Beighle is also a co-author of six books (Promoting Physical Activity and Health in the Classroom, Pedometer Power, Pedometer Power 2nd ed., Dynamic Physical Education for Elementary School Children 16e.,17e, 18e).

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Aaron Beighle

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