My time spent in elementary school reminds me of the good ole days. Life was simple, rules and routines were clearly established, and there was dedicated time to run and play on the playground! As I listen to all the advice now about good health and physical condition, it’s the elementary activities that matter the most for fitness.
I think of my experience in elementary school. I went to a 3-story old brick building in Palisades Park, New Jersey. Lindbergh Elementary had lots of stairs that we climbed multiple times daily. We climbed them to go to lunch, recess, art, music, PE, etc. The school was located a mile from home. My sister and I walked 1-mile downhill on the way to school and 1-mile up hill on the way home. We often did that round trip trek twice a day when we went home for lunch. My time spent in morning and afternoon recess was chasing the boys, jumping rope, and playing on the jungle gym.
Let me be clear about the elementary exercises for fitness.
- Walk – good for cardio and overall health
- Walk slow or fast
- Use hills and flat surfaces
- Add high knees or low squats
- Stairs – good for balance and use of alternating legs
- Walk or run up and down
- Take two at a time
- Ascend and descend sideways or backwards
- Jump Rope – good for balance, coordination, muscle strength, bone density
- Jump slow or fast with both feet
- Alternate jumps leading with right then left foot
- Skip rope
What other elementary pursuits come to mind? Running races, Kick ball, tether ball, and swings are a few that all raise heart rates and provide fitness benefits. As youth, we probably took these activities for granted. Now these elementary activities can be some of the most important pursuits in which we can participate.