Fitness & Weight Training

By: John Crosby, Fitness Instructor

At the high school level, the importance of fitness training through use of the weight room should be strongly emphasized.  Fitness classes offered to students in grades 8-12 is a strong trend in education today. Many classes are in session 5 days a week, with an emphasis on weight training 4 of those days, separated by an active recovery day in the middle. Several scientific studies in recent years support the idea that fitness groups during the school day can greatly enhance the learning abilities of a student in the classroom. Alongside this, athletes see great improvement on a weekly basis for their respective sports. 

The first thing that is emphasized in weight training classes is safety. Students are taught the importance of correct exercise form, as well as weight room etiquette. Once these practices are effectively managed, students will demonstrate the ability to warm-up the body through pre-workout exercises. These exercises are done for both short term and long term injury prevention. For example, rotator cuff strengthening is a point of emphasis for upper body days that involve pressing from the chest and shoulders. Active dynamic warmup exercises are done at the beginning of each workout as a way to prepare the body to be at its best for the workout to come. 

Once the workout is in session,  a goal should be to improve several aspects of the student’s performance. These include, muscular strength, muscular endurance, explosion, mobility and flexibility. Some workouts are more focused on a strength building/ low repetition approach, while others are primarily focused on a high repetition/ endurance approach. There is an equal amount of targeting the anterior chain, as well as the posterior chain of the body. Each student should be pushed to reach their full physical potential regardless of the focal point on a given day.  

The end goal of a fitness department at any academic institution is to teach and promote how to live a healthy/active lifestyle after high school. If a student can take any of the ideas that are taught during their time in a fitness class and apply them to their life outside of school, then the instructor’s goal has been accomplished. 

Staying Healthy during Cold & Flu Season

By: Melinda Parker, School Nurse

During the winter months it may seem like a daily battle to stay healthy.  It is important to arm yourself and your children with good habits to try to keep cold/flu germs at bay.


The CDC offers a variety of tips for staying healthy.

1)   Get vaccinated. Although the flu vaccine won’t stop you from getting the flu it will often lessen your symptoms and the actual time you carry the virus. It’s not too late! Many local pharmacies and grocery stores, as well as most doctors offices are still offering the vaccination.

2)   Stay home when you are sick.  This is very important especially when reporting to school or work. When sick, if you venture out, you are infecting everyone you come in contact with.

3)   Cover your mouth and nose. Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue, your elbow, etc when sneezing and coughing may prevent germs from spreading to those around you.

4)   Clean your hands.  Wash, wash, wash!  Make sure to wash your hands with warm water and soap often. A fun way to help your younger children know how long they should be scrubbing their hands with soap before rinsing is to sing the “ABC’s” or “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”. Not near a sink? Grab a squirt of Hand Sanitizer to hold you over.

5)   Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.  These areas are perfect entry points for those germs to get in.

6)   Practice other good health habits. Clean and disinfect frequently!  Clean your desks, school supplies, lunch boxes, water bottles, work spaces and home.  Make sure to drink plenty of fluids (especially water!), eat nutritional foods, get plenty of sleep and again…wash your hands often!

Find out more here:

Once sick it is often hard to tell the difference between the common cold and the flu.  The CDC offers these tips for distinguishing between the two, but cautions that the best way to be sure, is to visit your local doctor or clinic for a flu test.

Colds often have a gradual symptom onset, they rarely have fevers, may have slights aches, and will sometimes cause fatigue or weakness. They commonly have sneezing, coughing, stuffy nose, and sore throats.  While the flu has an abrupt onset and usually has a fever, aches, chills and fatigue.  The flu may also have sneezing, stuffy nose, cough or sore throat.  Cold symptoms are generally milder than the flu.  Again, your best course of action when deciding whether it is the cold or flu is to be tested.

To learn more about cold and flu season and what you can do, visit the CDC here:

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