Chapel Hill Students Get Healthy Start to Their Day

A new initiative at Chapel Hill 7th & 8th Grade Center has more students focused on strength, endurance, and flexibility.

The class, called Healthy Start, was the brainchild of Kelin Mark, new principal at the school. He turned to physical education teacher Travis Schaffer to carry it out.

“We talked a few times about how to utilize our fitness room more for our students on a daily basis,” said Mr. Schaffer. “As our conversations progressed, the idea came about and we began discussing how we could make this work.”

Students may take part in the class as part of what’s known as the school’s “impact” period. The class focuses on what Mr. Schaffer calls the five components of physical fitness: muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, and body composition. Mr. Schaffer also focuses on six skill-related components of physical fitness: speed, power, agility, balance, coordination, and reaction time.

“I am teaching students how to be competent in a fitness center and weight room,” says Mr. Schaffer, who also coaches football and girls basketball at the school. “They have been learning how to be safe and how to work out effectively while incorporating perfect form to prevent injuries.”

The class is designed to prepare students for strength training in high school. “After completing this class,” says Mr. Schaffer, “the students will leave with the knowledge of how to get into shape, stay in shape, and go above and beyond with sport-specific training techniques.”