With our students participating in our Remote and Interactive Teaching and Learning Programme, DPA (Daily Physical Activity) has never been more important. Keeping children active during the day is always good for their physical and mental health, especially during challenging times like these.
Because our students have not had their regular physical education classes, our Physical Education teacher, Mr. S has been creative! Recent DPA and Phys. Ed class includes daily dynamic full-body workouts, with two to three sets of different exercises.
Dynamic and Static Stretching is Part of DPA
To ward off stiff muscles from sitting at a computer all day, our Physical Education teacher takes our students through a series of dynamic and static movements and stretches. Typically, two sets of these stretches is sufficient to keep stiff muscles loose. Mr S recommends that students do their stretches at least twice per day.
Dynamic stretches are active movements in which joints and muscles go through a full range of motion. They can be used to help warm up your body before exercising. Dynamic stretches include such things as walking lunges, leg swings, high knees or jumping jacks.
Static stretches, on the other hand, require extended muscle-use and are held for a period of time. Some examples of static stretches include a triceps stretch, downward dog, child’s pose or even the butterfly stretch. For some great examples of Dynamic and Static stretches that you can do at home, please click here.
Keep DPA Interesting With a Variety of Exercises
To keep DPA fun, Rowntree students have also participated in various movement games such as Simon Says and Charades. Each game includes students doing push-ups, situps, jumping jacks, lunges or squats, etc. Bodyweight exercises keep students moving throughout the day. Students from Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 8 participate in Daily Physical Activity.
Another great form of DPA to do at home is dancing, through online dance competitions or tournaments. This provides students with an opportunity to showcase their latest dance moves and have a few laughs with fellow students via their remote learning. Once again, this is a great form of DPA for students in all grades.
Rowntree Montessori students also regularly participate in yoga-like and mindfulness activities. These are a great form of exercise that have many benefits including keeping muscles limber as well as calming the mind. Children, aged 6 to 12, have improved physical and mental health with yoga-like exercises and mindfulness, according to Harvard Medical School.
Running Drills as Part of DPA
Lastly, our Physical Education teacher has been taking our students through a full course of running drills that are beneficial in preparation for any type of sport and will help aid their cardiovascular health. Running is also a great sport for children of all ages to participate in as it provides an opportunity to get outside and get some fresh air with their families. Running is also a sport that anyone can do while at home during COVID-19.
We encourage our students to stay active and take a break from their screens and get outside (when the weather is good, and with parental permission). A recent student survey revealed that most RMS students are doing at least 2 hours of their own physical activity each day, and the most popular forms of exercise include cycling, running, walking, and basketball.
During challenging times like these, it is so important to keep children active. Physical activity keeps our students’ bodies healthy and helps manage stress, anxiety, and even boredom.