20 Sep 2019 – written by Absolute Perfomance
A school gym can achieve more than you think.
The benefits of new school gym equipment extend far beyond specific sports training. A strong physical fitness program that utilizes strength training equipment helps students develop healthy habits that will accompany them through life.
For years, physical education classes have often focused more on general activities, think rugby and annual bleep tests, and less on strength training and physical fitness. Today, researchers are finding that educating students early about the benefits of strength training, cardio and bodyweight training will establish habits that provide a healthier lifestyle for years to come.
If your school or college is ready for a gym makeover, here are some key benefits that can help get the conversation started.
Equipping your school gym with new training equipment is the first step to getting students excited about working out. Whether you have limited funds or a large budget, adding even a few key items that allow for progressive training and emphasizes correct form will create the foundation for a flexible fitness program. Cable machines, leverage equipment, and dumbbells are a great place to start. You can even customize equipment to your school’s colors, emphasizing team spirit in the fitness room. To further fuel motivation, consider pairing your new gym equipment with a goal tracking system that allows students to set attainable goals and celebrate their personal and group success.
Exposing students to fitness early in life provides them with skills they can use to maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout their lives. Skills such as good form, how to use the gym equipment, and training discipline are all useful tools that can be carried into adulthood and will prevent injuries later in life.
Education can be a challenging time for many students. Social and academic pressures can create stress and anxiety. Channeling that stress into fitness is a healthy way to unwind and improve overall health. Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins, chemicals that act as the body’s natural painkillers. Endorphins improve mood and improve a student’s ability to sleep, which in turn reduce stress.
According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, adults who are physically active on most days of the week are at less risk of premature death from diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and some cancers. Teaching students about fitness and the importance of making smart lifestyle choices early will help form healthy habits for life and likely reduce the risk of chronic disease into adulthood.
Physical fitness has both immediate and long-term effects on learning. Immediately after physical activity, studies find that students focus better in the classroom. Over time, physical fitness has shown to improve learning in reading, math and writing skills. According to the Physical Activity Across the Curriculum (PAAC), a research project conducted with 24 schools, shows that physical activity sessions can improve overall academic performance, so a great school gym can extend its benefits across the whole academic program.
Relying on fellow students for support during a workout in terms of spotting or motivation helps students form friendships they may not have without this shared interest. During a workout routine, students must trust one another and with trust, new bonds form. Students begin to encourage one another to reach new goals.
Just as student encourage each other in the school gym, friends and family are often encouraged by a student’s enthusiasm for fitness. As a student shares their new appreciation for strength training and fitness, family members can be motivated to start their own fitness training and share in healthy activities with their children.
Incorporating strength training and new equipment into your school gym can form lifelong healthy habits, increase learning, improve collaboration and result in a healthier community overall.
We've helped hundreds of schools and colleges renew their training facilities read about them here.