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If it’s Wednesday, it’s time to workout at Sandshore.
Physical education teachers Doug DeMarco and Kit Thompson recently started Workout Wednesdays. During the morning announcements, the teachers use the p.a. system to lead the entire school in a five-minute exercise program designed to get hearts thumping.
The students do the exercises in their classrooms under the guidance of their classroom teachers so the movements are kept small and compact. Jumping jacks, running in place, arm circles, and high knees are just some of the activities. After the cardio, Mr. DeMarco and Ms. Thompson lead the school in some gentle stretching which the students have practiced in physical education class.
“The kids love it,” Ms. Thompson said. “It gets their brains working and ready to learn. Plus, this also shows kids that you can do a little exercise throughout the day instead of doing it all at once. Short periods of activity add up.”
The exercise segments focus on full-body functional movements using a variety methods including Tabata intervals. Tabata intervals, developed by a professor and researcher in sport and health sciences, alternate bursts of exercise with short rounds of rest.
“Studies show that there is a direct link between physical activity and cognitive performance,” said Mr. DeMarco, who has been working in the fitness and strength & conditioning field for more than 10 years. “Short bursts of activity throughout the day are great ‘brain breaks’ for anyone, not just kids, and give you shots of mental energy that can help make you more productive.”