Setting The Foundation For Success In Fitness

Katherine Kuzma/Ann Pregont

Mill Creek

In addition to offering students quality large-group instruction during physical education, it is our goal to provide students with a space where they can learn and practice various exercises in a small group setting, both safely and semi-privately. Last year we began to transform an unused, dirty, and cluttered “exercise room” into an area where students can learn more about fitness. We tossed out broken/unused equipment and purchased permanent rubberized flooring to replace the dirty, old, and torn floor mats that previously existed. As a physical educator as well as a certified group fitness instructor with the Athletics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA), I will be able to provide safe, effective, and personalized instruction for students in this space. Most students come to Mill Creek without any knowledge of proper weightlifting form, mechanics, or safety. Having a class set of weights and a few benches will allow us to:

-Teach proper weightlifting form and safety to large groups of students in the gym.
-Provide small group sessions with students in our fitness room.
-Provide students with the opportunity to use weights in their student-created workouts (a vital part of our middle school PE curriculum)
-Develop an elective at Mill Creek that focuses on proper strength training and conditioning.
-Share our equipment and fitness room with our Mill Creek Athletic teams and coaches during practices.

Adding weights and moveable benches to the Mill Creek Fitness Room will empower students to incorporate strength training into their daily lives. Proper education and exposure to weightlifting techniques will improve student confidence and prepare students for the additional training that they will receive from coaches and PE teachers at DHS. Students who do not have an interest in sports may find that they enjoy strength training and feel more confident starting a strength program because they had the opportunity to learn a little bit about weight lifting while in middle school. In addition to improving athletic performance, strength training reduces the risk of injury, improves heart health, strengthens bones, boosts self-esteem and mood, and can increase mobility and balance. Students who participate in strength training set themselves up for creating a healthier life as adults.