Every January, people reset their fitness and health expectations. Why not incorporate a gamified getting fit stream within your school day with students? Work with students to create a plan to incorporate a ‘1% better each day’ so that they can see what should be done in the way of being healthier daily. (For more on this 1% concept, I highly recommend you read Atomic Habits by James Clear.)
You can easily incorporate Phys. Ed., Health, Math, Social Studies, Science and Language Arts into this. A cross-curricular opportunity filled with great research on best ways to track, what is to be tracked, goal planning, timeline, sharing of successes and growth, etc. Check out some of the ideas and resources below:
- Trackers – there are a variety out there from basic pedometers to fitness trackers to smartwatches. You may already have access to a class set that can be used during the school day. If not, reach out to local businesses or a sponsor to purchase your own set. Depending upon the age of students, they may already have one on their wrist or you can even just use one for the whole class (teacher has the smartwatch and shares information with students so they can utilize the information). Check out some of the best smartwatches, best fitness trackers, cheap fitness trackers mentioned in the last month.
- Spreadsheet – Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets are a great way to input daily steps, heart rate, mood, workout minutes or whatever you and your students decide they want to track. Information can be easily shared as visuals through the many different charts that are available with these two resources.
- Map – local or international paper map or Google My Maps are able to track cumulative progress. Check out how Eric Curts explains it in Google Fit My Maps.
- Curriculum Connections
- Language Arts – students can reflect on how their fitness tracking has made them aware of certain aspects (their HR, how fast they walk/run…) Taking a before and after picture, they can remark how they feel and what daily healthy opportunities do for their learning.
- Science – research what happens to the heart or the brain when you work out, share what has happened to their heart over time, share how their moods may have changed (for the better). Connect with an expert via videoconference.
- Health and Phys.Ed. – has this tracking made them aware of other fitness opportunities? Have they become a better student or player in another sport? Is water the best thing while working out? Which foods are best to keep a body healthy?
- Social Studies – tracking steps through the community may have students seeing different things in the community that they would like to share. Or one can add up steps to see where they can go anywhere in the world and research places that could be visited.
- Math – charts, traveling distances, HR differences.
If this is a long-term tracking event (more than a month), I would suggest that you change you the tracking by adding challenges, individual and team opportunities to make it interesting. Show that being healthy can be fun.