Southdown’s Family Fitness Night Gets Hearts Racing

Exercises sent everyone's heart rate soaring.

January 25, 2017

Teaching young people about healthy habits that they can maintain for the rest of their lives. That’s the goal of Southdown Primary School physical education teachers Lynn Hefele and Adam Sherrard. Getting parents to buy-in to the campaign and keeping them in the loop about it are important, too.

The two veteran educators recently organized a family fitness night at Southdown. The event was another important step forward in their drive to make a positive difference in the lives of students at the school.

Mrs. Hefele and Mr. Sherrard have made a great deal of progress with Southdown’s students, who have gained a good understanding of why healthy habits, including good nutrition and regular exercise are vital to folks of any age.

Southdown physical education teachers Lynn Hefele and Adam Sherard.

“An important component to this is informing parents of a variety of different activities that they can do with their children to help the entire family stay active and healthy together,” Mr. Sherrard said. “Family fitness night provided an opportunity to have parents and children be active and healthy together.”

The evening started with Tabata and AMRAP workouts. Tabata training is a high intensity interval workout consisting of exercises that last for a relatively short duration of time. AMRAP is an acronym for “as many reps as possible.”

“Not only does this align with the Blue Devil Fitness component of the district’s physical education curriculum, but it also provided parents with the tools to exercise with limited time and equipment,” Mr. Sherrard said. “All of the exercises were body weight exercises and the two workouts only lasted a combined 12 minutes.” Parents and students were sent home at the end of the evening with a packet of 75 separate equipment free workouts they can do together at home.

Additional aerobic activities followed the opening exercise segment. Families were taught simple dances they can do at home with as few as two people or as part of a larger group. Students had earlier learned the dances during physical education classes and many of the youngsters jumped at the opportunity to teach their parents the steps and sequences.

After participating in heart rate elevating exercises, families calmed down with yoga. They followed along with Mrs. Hefele’s story of Critter the Flea. Parents and students performed yoga movements emulating different bugs and assorted creatures. (Mrs. Hefele is a published author who has written many books.)

Near the end of the evening, parents learned about the Southdown combination to a healthy life. “The combination is 1-10-2-5-0,” Mr. Sherrard explained. “This is the combination that the students should use as a guide to help stay healthy every day. One hour of physical activity, 10 hours of sleep, two hours of screen time, five servings of fruits and vegetables and zero sugary drinks.”

Students were sent on their way home with healthy snacks and water to help recharge their system after a fun and lively night of energetic activities with family members.