Get NTC fit!

PE teachers are always looking for fun new activities to motivate and encourage our students, to make PE more active and FUN.

In Grade 8 Gymnastics we have been doing some intense 10-15 minute warm ups to improve our functional fitness and prepare us for a lesson of bending, stretching, rolling and balancing! Today we tried out the Nike Training Club app. Today’s leading female athletes are featured and have all contributed to the apps with specialised workouts. What a great way to show female athletes as mentors and inspire our girls of today! Although the app is targeted towards women, these fierce workouts are challenging for everyone.

Choose individual workouts, or select a targeted, structured four-week program to help you get lean, toned or strong. Add running to boost your results. Customize workouts with the drills you prefer. See the results, and celebrate your progress with your friends.

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Featuring more than 100 workouts by Nike Master Trainers and world-class athletes like Maria Sharapova, with all the instruction and motivation you need to blast through your fitness goals.

•Full-body 15, 30 and 45-minutes workouts you can do anywhere, anytime
•Free workouts from some of the world’s most inspirational female athletes, trainers and celebrities.
•Step-by-step visual and video demos to help you perfect every drill
•Audio guidance to keep you on track and motivated while working out
•Your favourite workouts, training history and progress, instantly accessible
•New and improved Facebook and Twitter sharing to give your progress a boost
•Workout music streamed from your music library

Check out the app in action in our PE class and see how it can used for everyone!

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Download NTC on itunes here

Might as well jump.

Grade 8’s are coming to the end of the Track and Field unit. In this unit students compete in a number of Track and Field events. The earn points for each performance in the event. The final grade is determined by their top 3 events.

Check out some action from the Long Jump

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Compare yourself to the world record jumps below!

Long Jump World Record for Women (Galina Chistyakova – 7.52m Leningrad 1988)

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Long Jump World Record for Men (Mike Powell – 8.95m Tokyo 1991)

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PE is the fourth ‘R’ of education!

(CNN) — It’s been called the fourth “R” of education: reading, writing, arithmetic and now, aerobics. But the gym class of generation Wii isn’t the same one you probably remember from school.

“You hear sometimes the old stories … where you roll the ball out and students just played the game,” says Hanna Vaandering, president of the Oregon Education Association. “That’s not what physical education is about today.”

As they struggle to keep kids active in the midst of an obesity epidemic, PE teachers are using technology and the latest fitness trends to inspire even the most nonathletic children to develop a lifelong love for exercise.

“If you don’t have health, what do you have?” Vaandering asks. “You’ve got to make sure (students) understand how to take care of their body.”

Fighting an epidemic

Stop me if you’ve heard these statistics before: Approximately 17% of Americans age 2 to 19 years old are obese. Though recent studies have shown signs of progress, an estimated one out of every eight preschoolers in the United States is still obese, according to the CDC. And only 25% of adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15 met the national fitness recommendation of 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily in 2012.

Active kids are healthier kids

Manning on exercise, academics for kids

PE teachers have struggled to fight the effects of childhood obesity in class, says Vaandering; many children’s motor skills are not where they should be and cardiovascular endurance is a big problem.

And frankly, in general, “kids are lazier,” says Rich Muller, a PE teacher at Dwight-Englewood School in Englewood, New Jersey. “They don’t want to work. They don’t want to do anything.”

Not just flag football anymore

In his 28 years as an educator, Muller has seen a significant shift in the kinds of activities taught in gym classes. Just a decade ago, he says, the focus was 95% on team sports. Now teachers are incorporating golf, rock climbing, bowling and even ping-pong into their curriculum.

“I’m trying to find that environment where they can find that one lifelong activity,” says Matthew Pomeroy, a PE teacher at Merton Intermediate School in Merton, Wisconsin. “All those different things that kids can kind of be engaged in and enjoy.”

While kids in Pomeroy’s district tend to be more active than the average American middle schooler, he sees another troubling trend: students who are spending 10 to 12 months of the year playing only one sport. While that’s great for physical fitness, he says, orthopedic surgeons are seeing an increase in children’s sports injuries related to such repetitive motions.

Both Muller and Pomeroy offer students at their respective schools a choice every day: They can play volleyball or do yoga; they can practice archery or work out in the weight room. Zumba. CrossFit. Geocaching. Tabata. Spinning. All these and more are offered to encourage students to move.

“The participation level has skyrocketed because they have more options,” Muller says. “It’s fun. We have hardly any complaints like we used to.”

Technology

If there’s one thing Pomeroy is pumped about, it’s using technology in his class. The self-proclaimed Twitter fanatic has reached out to PE teachers all over the world to bring new ideas to his students.

Pomeroy’s class uses iPads to analyze their archery or free throw techniques. With an app called Coach’s Eye, they record videos of their shot, then play it back while discussing their form. Pomeroy has also split his class into groups to create their very own workout videos — recording these at home is easier for some students than performing live in front of their peers, he says.

Many schools provide pedometers and heart rate monitors for students, Vaandering says. When she taught elementary PE, she encouraged her students to increase the number of steps they took during every class.

“You’d see their little feet moving while we’re giving instructions because they want to get more steps,” she says with a laugh.

Pomeroy has taken technology even further, using it to connect his students with others across the globe. In one instance he teamed up with a PE teacher in the United Kingdom to pull off an international dance team competition via Skype. Another time, his students gave jump rope lessons to their peers abroad.

“Sometimes for phys ed, you just need to get out of the gym,” Pomeroy says.

Students at at Merton Intermediate School in Wisconsin participate in a spin class.
Students at at Merton Intermediate School in Wisconsin participate in a spin class.

Stress

Perhaps one of the biggest differences Vaandering sees in students today is high levels of stress. An overemphasis on standardized tests and budget cuts has removed important stress outlets such as art class and PE in some schools, she says. A few districts in Oregon have even cut recess for elementary school.

“That’s so not in line with brain research and what science tells us about a child’s learning (process),” Vaandering says. “In reality there needs to be a balance and a respect for the whole child.”

Why kids need recess

Some schools are getting the message that stress reduction is an important part of a child’s overall well-being. They’re incorporating yoga and meditation, Muller says, while educating the mind, body and spirit.

In health class at Dwight-Englewood, students are offered the opportunity to use apps like Calm.com, which provides a soothing screen and sounds in timed blocks to calm the mind.

“It’s amazing how much better you feel after two minutes,” Muller says.

What you can do

Parents play a big role in their children’s success at school, Vaandering says, whether it’s in math class or gym class.

“It really is important to do family activities,” she says. “Enjoying each other’s company, going hiking, playing pickleball on the weekend.”

Pomeroy agrees. “You can make such a great connection with your kids through physical activity.”

What does your family do to stay fit? Share your tips and learn from other parents on Friday at 1 p.m. ET with @CNNHealth and celebrity trainer David Kirsch. Use the hashtag #FitFamilies to join in the conversation on Twitter.

To read the article on CNN Health click here

 

BEAR, HUNTER, MERMAID!

Fun fitness warm up: Janken suicide runs

What is Janken?

Janken is most commonly know as rock, paper, scissors. The origins of which come from Asia. The first known mention of the game was in the book Wuzazu (五杂组) by the Chinese Ming Dynasty writer Xie Zhaozhi. Throughout Japanese history there are frequent references to “sansukumi-ken” (三竦み拳), meaning “ken” (拳) [fist] games with a three-way [三] (san) deadlock [竦み] (sukumi), in the sense that A beats B, B beats C, and C beats A. The games originated in China before being imported to Japan and subsequently becoming popular. The earliest Japanese “sansukumi-ken” game was known as “mushi-ken” (虫拳), which was imported directly from China. In “Mushi-ken” the “frog” (represented by the thumb) is superseded the “slug” (represented by the little finger), which, in turn is superseded by the “snake” (represented by the index finger), which is superseded by the “frog”.

"Mushi-ken"

“Mushi-ken”

What is a suicide run?

In sport, a suicide can refer to a type of gruelling running drill, usually performed on a basketball court. Athletes run suicides by repeatedly sprinting from a starting point to each of a series of lines across the court, and back again. The drill is intended to improve speed and agility; its gruesome name reflects the intensity of the physical effort it requires.

So how do we combine the two to make a super fun fitness activity?

We play Janken suicides. At each line you match up with a partner to play. Winner runs, loser completes either 5 push ups, 5 curl ups or 5 jumping squats.

To put a different spin on it we play Bear, Hunter, Mermaid instead of the boring old rock, paper scissors. Kids love to act things out.

BEAR, HUNTER, MERMAID

BEAR, HUNTER, MERMAID

The inclusion of ‘bear, hunter, mermaid’ forces us to engage all four quadrants of the brain while we are exercising, thinking and working hard. All of our synapses are lighting up with glee! Exercise builds our fitness and helps us to grow brain cells!

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Check this game out in action!

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Reflexes like a cat!

This week during our fitness warm ups students have had the chance to show us some of their…

Cat reflexes

Combined with some cardio (I can see the eye rolling now) they have been using some reaction balls to practice their catching. Reaction balls are a six sided ball that will bounce in any direction after it hits the ground. The irregular bounce is perfect for improving reaction time, agility, foot speed and hand/eye co-ordination.

Reaction ball

Check out our warm up

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Dodgewall – Not for the scaredy cats

Today in Grade 7 PE class we introduced a new challenge…Dodgewall! An OPTIONAL activity where you try to climb to the top of the speed wall while avoid being hit with a dodgeball. If you get hit on the arm or leg then that limb is out of action for the remainder of the climb. You can only be hit once, and triple points are up for grabs!

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