The Student News Site of Shorewood High School

Shorewood Ripples

The Student News Site of Shorewood High School

Shorewood Ripples

The Student News Site of Shorewood High School

Shorewood Ripples

Integrated Health classes utilize SCFC

Freshman gym classes introduce safe fitness knowledge early on

Every Friday, freshmen in Integrated Health have the option to be active in the north gym, arena, youth center or community fitness center. During this time, students wear fitness watches that track heart rate and physical activity with the only requirements being active participation throughout class time and an end goal of 145 bpm. 

“[Students] can do any type of exercise: elliptical, treadmill, cycling, they can play basketball, [along with other things],” said Sam Keller, gym teacher. “They’re teaching themselves how to self-regulate; they decide on what they want to do, and they have to accomplish a goal.”

For fitness days, many students choose to go to the Shorewood Community Fitness Center (SCFC) for their class period. Cardio equipment, strength machines, and the aerobics room are available for students after being taught how to use equipment properly and safely. 

David Winger, SCFC manager, believes that having a fitness center so close to the high school offers countless benefits for students.

“There are a lot of things health wise that are not going well across the country…if we can be a catalyst to help [younger students and their health], that is what we are looking for,” Winger said.

The Fitness Center’s values of accessibility, connection and wellbeing directly relate to their recent efforts of inclusion regarding special education students utilizing the fitness center, as well as older community members. 

“We want to make sure that it is not just the students that have access or not just the public that has access, but that we get the entire community involved,” Winger said. “We have members that are 13 to upwards of 90, and we want to keep that going because it is why we do what we do.”

The fitness center and SHS classes have had a long-term relationship, utilizing each other’s resources for decades.

“We have not only had the Integrated Health classes come in and learn what it’s like to be in a fitness center for the first time, but we have also had strength and conditioning classes,” Winger said. “Even physics classes come in to understand how lever arms work and that kind of stuff.”

Keller has noticed an improvement in the physical education department after introducing cardio days and fitness watches into the curriculum.

 “Grades have increased, participation has increased and [so has students’] ability to understand how they need to raise their heart rate,” Keller said. “They’re learning how to navigate this space on their own.”

Introducing the students to the gym aids the Fitness Center in its values, as well as helping young people feel comfortable in new settings.

 “Gym environments are intimidating and if students learn how to conduct themselves or learn how to stay focused now, they’ll know how to do it in the future, so we’re teaching them a lifetime skill,” Keller said. 

Keller believes the implementation and encouragement of physical activity is something that students enjoy.

“I’ve noticed that in this school, especially the high school, kids want to be active, but they want to be given the choice on what they want to do,” Keller said. “And with that being said we’re giving them that choice and seeing an increase in activity.”

 In this regard Shorewood is unique, giving the students the ability to choose what may be best for them. Taking responsibility for their own activity not only helps them thrive in the classroom, but is a skill that will stick with them beyond high school. 

“That’s what school is about, understanding a skill and mastering that skill and applying it to different situations,” Keller said.