Any fitness gurus out there?

I’m designing a physical education course for my homeschooled high school kids. I have a 16 year old son who dislikes physical activity and esp. sports and a 15 year old girl who likes being active, likes recreational sports, but isn’t very competitive by nature.

I want to design the course so they can get into fitness habits and acquire knowledge that will help them throughout their lives.

We have a treadmill, some light hand weights (I could get some more), and a big yard. We don’t have a wii, btw. I don’t know if it’s worth it–getting the fitness program?

So, looking for resources: dvds, books, ideas. I’m going to have them do some reading as well as fitness activities.

One thing they are getting ready to do is a swing dancing class, so I’m going to include that.

I’m not very sporty myself, so I need a little help here!

Also, my 16 year really hates competitive sports, but I wondered if I should push learning some basketball skills so he could at least hang out with the guys…He’d really fight me on that.


If I were you, I’d look into a YMCA. We are members of our Y and there are always myriad activities for young people. We do basketball, baseball, volleyball, soccer, swimming, and indoor soccer. Even if your kids chose not to compete in the team sports they offer, you can go to open gym or open swim and get them moving there. They are also old enough to go to the fitness center and do the treadmill, stationary bikes, elliptical, stair stepper, weight machines, etc. Or, enroll them in an class - aerobics, low impact aerobics, water aerobics, pilates, yoga, kickboxing…

I think a good place to start would be to find out what kind of physical activity interests them and go from there. Hiking, biking, playing ball, jogging. And, make it a family affair. Make it a part of your lifestyle and it will instill a lifetime value of fitness in them. Go with them and walk on the treadmill, or have a family game of kickball, or basketball, or take a hike together.

Swimming is definitely my #1 choice however, it’s so good for your body, and so kind to your joints. I swim laps several times a week and am always amazed at the 80 year old folks there swimming laps. :slight_smile:

I think sports are so important, the kids learn so much from them. I start mine off very young with soccer when they are three. But, I grew up doing the same thing so it’s natural for me. And, I will say that at least knowing HOW to play sports did help me socially in college and beyond. I only played softball in little league, but still joined a coed softball team in college and played on our work softball team. I wasn’t great, but I at least knew enough about how the game was played that I felt comfortable joining.

A fun activity is letterboxing and geocaching. Letterboxing only requires a compass but around me there are less finds. Geocaching requires a handheld GPS unit but after that its free. There are also dozens of finds within a five milr radius of my house. Check out and for more info.
Something I want to start with my own kids is jogging and eventually running a 5k. there is a program in our area called girls on the run which trains girls 9 and up to complete a 5k run. the program is expensive but I hear that it is an enormouse sense of accomplishment for the girls and familys. there is a website called with how to start training. these are both activities that can be carried into adulthood.

My daughter plays softball and volleyball, but my son hates sports. He refuses to play. We tried doing some baseball with him when he was little, but he was so miserable and sad, we let him quit.

He does shooting sports with 4-H.

The “y” sounds like a great idea, but it’ll have to wait until my dh is working. Thanks for all your suggestions. :thumbsup:

Hey! We have a handheld gps!

My son likes to hike, but since we are in the suburbs, it isn’t very practical for a consistent activity.

I’ll look ino the letterboxing!

This may sound like too simple an answer but, -ping pong. Believe it or not, after just a few times playing, one is proficient enough to build up a sweat playing. It also utilises the ‘WHOLE’ body. -Not at first as one just gets the hang of just hitting the ball, but soon after, it becomes a lot of fun, uses most of the 650 muscles in the body, gets the heart going, doesn’t cost much, can be played indoors, and the current tables can be folded and put away. It’s a cheap efficient way of getting good exercise.

You might want to look into the Y anyway. Ours has a scholarship program. Everyone who is a member is expected to pay something, but it is based on income and can be as little as $10 a month.

Great website for everything P.E. Bottom line to phys. ed. : Keep heart rate up to exercise level for 20 - 30 min, 3 to 5 times a week. If you don’t have a heart rate monitor or don’t want to take your pulse all of the time here’s the “talk test”: 1. if you can sing while working out, you are not working hard enough…pick up the pace of your workout 2. f you can carry on a light conversation while exercising, then you are in a good intensity range 3.Once your speech starts to break, slow, or cause discomfort, you’re working too hard.

Make sure the activity they find is FUN, or they won’t continue it. The new P.E. classes are oriented for choosing lifetime activities. Have fun!!

What about having them read biographies/autobiographies about sports figures? Pick ones where the individual had to overcome some sort of obstacle (being a minority of some sort, being handicapped, etc). Or, pick some high-profile athletes who have gotten themselves into trouble and discuss why what they did was wrong and how they could have made better choices.

How about a nice game of tag? Haha…

Also, what about some basics in sport medicine, which can tie into first aid, especially applicable if you plan to hike. That can also tie into proper hydration and having energy-rich snacks, which can tie into a segment on nutrition…

OR, things like map reading, get a topo map of somewhere you think you may hike.

What about rock climbing, or a ropes course?

I’m just bursting with ideas :slight_smile:

Here’s a strange reply and it works! Ever heard of crossfit? Your children seem to be of perfect age, it incorporates hard work and a healthy lifestyle. Check out I highly recommend it!

What about starting a bowling league with other homeschoolers? I think that would be fun?!

Training for and running a 5K?

I also liked the ping pong idea…

Is it all sports your son has a problem with, or is it just team sports? If it’s the team sports aspect, try individual sports like swimming, golf, or martial arts. I always said I hated sports in general, but I did taekwondo in college and loved it. I miss it now that my schedule doesn’t mesh with the classes offered in my area. If you find the right club, the instructor will emphasize bettering your own skills over training for tournaments.

If it’s all sports, look for activities you can do as a family–hiking, biking, geocaching, jogging.

If he really hates all physical activity in favor of creative ones like writing or art, encourage him to walk around the neighborhood or local parks to get ideas for his creative outlets. Even a daily 20min stroll is better than nothing, and helps build up endurance for longer or faster walks.

What ever you do, start slow and short. In my experience, nothing torpedoes an exercise program faster than overdoing it at first.

No, it seems to be all sports. He loves to draw and in fact wants to become an artist. But, sitting and sketching isn’t very aerobic.

I had a judo class in college that I loved. I always planned to get back to it, but it seemed like I was pregnant or nursing for years…

I agree with the overdoing it factor.

I do think you can overdo it…but, I also think you can UNDER do it. Look at it this way…if he just didn’t like math (english, history, reading) would you let him skip it? Would you let him substitute art for math? Phys Ed is the same way. TRY to find something he likes to do, but he needs to be doing something…whether he likes it or not. :stuck_out_tongue:

Does he enjoy music or listening to audiobooks?
Get an iPod and get on the bike! Or run!

Also, look for gyms in your area that may offer personal training… there are many out there that aren’t too expensive!

How about swimming? Most kids like to get in the pool and swimming and swimming laps is about the best all over exercise you can get. If you have a Y or big high school with a pool, a JCC or a college/uni nearby they often have classes and/or free swim times for not too much. In the summer park districts will offer lessons too.

If that was all he did, no it wouldn’t be. But if you asked him to go and walk for 15-20 minutes and then draw something from his walk, then walk back, his walk would have a purpose (which I always find helpful) and he would be sharpening his observation skills for drawing while he was walking (which I also find helps my drawing).

Just today I read (over on Catholic Culture) about the Rosary Workout.

Looks really cool!

hey, I actually own it. A friend gave it to me. :slight_smile:

righto. I’m not disagreeing at all. I definitely think it’s important. But, I’d like to find activities for him to do that he will enjoy so he’ll incorporate it into his life.

Plus, since my dh is laid off, I’m not able to do private lessons in anything…


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