Hamilton Southeastern Schools Benefit From 2010 Geist Half Marathon
Editor’s Note: This article is the second in a series spotlighting beneficiaries of the annual Geist Half Marathon. Four Geist Reservoir-area schools received donations from the 2010 “Race Around the Reservoir” proceeds. This article spotlights Hamilton Southeastern School District.
A myriad of health and wellness initiatives for students in the Hamilton Southeastern School District were made possible this year as a result of contributions from the 2010 St.Vincent Geist Half Marathon & 5K Presented by Comcast. This article spotlights two HSE schools – Fishers Junior High School and Riverside Junior High School.
At Fishers Junior High, monies received helped the school build a cardiovascular fitness facility. Andrea McMurtry, Wellness Department Chair, says two programs the students use the facility for are “Rowing our Way to Better Fitness” and “Spin to Win Optimal Health.” The purpose of both programs is to build student interest in cardiovascular fitness to help combat our nation’s childhood obesity epidemic and to encourage lifelong physical fitness.
“Fishers Junior High is honored to have received these grants from the Geist Half Marathon,” said Andrea. “Without their efforts, we would not be able to fund such innovative initiatives. Many students are just not motivated to get fit on their own. Having these exciting programs helps motivate students to improve their physical fitness levels, through goal-setting, online competitions and monitoring their progress.”
Andrea says online challenges provided by the school’s rowing machine vendor, Concept2, provide competitions, for example, for five-student teams to see how many meters they can row in 10 minutes. Data is then uploaded into the company’s website so that Fishers students can participate against schools across the U.S., Germany and Australia. With the spinning initiative, students can get excellent spin bike workouts while listening to an instructor on a projector screen. Now, even members of the staff have started a spinning group that meets two to three times a week.
Riverside Junior High used its grant money to purchase wrist-worn heart rate monitors, JoyFitstix and Power Ropes. Heidi Stan, the school’s Wellness Department Chair, says it’s important students understand the importance of tracking and monitoring their heart rates during exercise.
“We teach our students how to calculate what their exercising ‘target heart rate zones’ should be so that they know how hard and how efficiently they are working,” Heidi said. Teachers and students have been trained on the monitors.
“In addition, we are really having fun with the JoyFitstix. They’re new and easy to use and provide an innovative workout that focuses first on upper body toning and sculpting. When added to the lower body movements, it engages the core to give great results,” she said.
Heidi says JoyFitstix can be implemented into almost any existing workout or classroom activity. They shake to the rhythm of the musical beat, causing them to tone muscles while students have a blast keeping the beat.
Delivery of the Power Ropes is expected soon and Heidi says it will provide a complete muscular strength and conditioning program like none other. Use of the ropes aims to increase student strength and stamina without requiring students to actually lift weights. They work by students holding the ends of two ropes, with their partners on the other ends, and performing a series of different waves and other motions to build muscular strength and endurance.
“Exercise is one of the best ways to prevent the rapid growth of obesity in America,” Heidi said. “We can’t thank everyone enough for choosing Riverside Junior High as a grant recipient — it has and will continue to open our students’ eyes to the opportunities and benefits of lifelong fitness.”