Fitness Friday: Set Summer Health+Wellness Goals!

“With KidFit I learned that there’s more to fitness than just exercise. I’ve also learned that I can achieve my goals if I try hard enough.”

-Damian, KidFit Athlete

 

Founder Maggie and her husband Dave running the Seattle Marathon

Founder Maggie and her husband Dave running the Seattle Marathon

One of the most powerful motivators to get and stay healthy is to set goals!  By stating something specific you want to achieve, you are much more likely to achieve it.  Who knows? You might even surprise yourself and surpass your goals.

Whenever I start training for a race, I always set goals for myself around time, feeling, training, and nutrition. By taking a more holistic approach, I am able to truly improve my whole self and feel much healthier overall!  Below, find some resources and tips as YOU set some summer wellness goals.

Happy goal-setting! 🙂

TIPS:

  • It is important to set your goals high enough so that they are not easy to attain but realistic enough that they are possible.
  • Set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound) goals.  Video explaining this here.
  • Set goals around different aspects of your life: fitness (sign up for a race); nutrition (eat more veggies and less sugar); general lifestyle (take a walk mid afternoon 4 days/week)
  • Recruit a friend or family member to take the challenge as well
  • Challenge yourself and have fun!

Here are some resources to help you set goals and stay on target:

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Community Post–Finding your Sweaty T-Shirt

Happy National Running Day! 

For this Community Post, I reflect on my personal journey—with fitness, running, teaching, and KidFit.  I love that I get to share this on National #RunningDay since running has played such as transformative and important role in my life.  Enjoy!  

🙂 Maggie

 


 

What is your Sweaty T-Shirt? Helping Students Find Their Way

It was fifth grade and I was going on my first road run.  Coming from a family of runners, this was a big deal.  I could not wait to run like the “big kids.”  It was probably only 2-3 miles, but to me, it was my “marathon”—a huge challenge that I had to work to overcome.   The run was tough, but I pushed through it.  And I was proud.

As we were stretching after the run, my Coach all of a sudden got very serious.

He pointed to his t-shirt and said, “THIS (sweaty t-shirt)…this is what you should look like.  If you don’t have THIS, you can push yourself harder.”

Ever the perfectionist, I looked down and saw (with relief!) that I did, in fact, have a sweaty t-shirt. Mission Accomplished!

At the time, I did not think much of it, but the story has stuck with me.  It was not about being the fastest runner, but rather about trying your best—no matter what.  To my coach, that meant working so hard that you had a sweaty t-shirt—a visible manifestation of hard work, showing that you were on path to reach your personal goals.  

I have never been the fastest, strongest or best when it comes to athletics. In fact, I identify myself as an “athlete by choice—not design.” Despite my lack of natural ability, however, I have always had DRIVE—the guts and grit to never give it, despite any physical/mental challenges that come my way.  Growing up, this meant that I often got the often considered less desirable awards at end-of-season celebrations— “most determined,” “most improved,” “most enthusiastic.”  I was never the MVP, but I took pride in my hard work. 

This mindset has stuck with me.  I remember a moment in my first year of teaching when I had simply had enough.  I was stressed, unpleasant to be around, and generally not happy.  Then, I made the decision to truly prioritize fitness and exercise; at the time, my routine had been spotty at best.  I signed up for my first half marathon, joined a gym, and made exercise/fitness a daily routine.  The change was practically instantaneous.  Once I took care of myself and invited fitness back into my life, I was a transformed person.  I was happier, a better roommate, a better friend, and definitely a better teacher.  I made the choice to be an athlete as an adult and have never looked back.

Despite my own personal revelation with the importance of fitness, I was frustrated with the lack of meaningful opportunities for my students to get active. They had PE once, maybe twice a week for less than an hour, a handful of afterschool athletic opportunities, and very little chances to play outside at home due to unsafe conditions. 

This did not seem fair. 

They were in school for 8 (or more!) hours a day with very little movement.  As an adult, I needed to move around and required exercise before or after work in order to function as a happy, productive person.  Yet my kids did not have this chance.  As a teacher, I tried to incorporate movement into my lessons, but the truth was that I did not have the time to plan anything truly meaningful or purposeful, especially as a young teacher.

So, over time, with students and teachers always at the forefront of my mind, the idea for KidFit emerged.

KidFit Academy works with teachers to provide a program that seamlessly integrates purposeful fitness throughout the school day.  We do this by empowering teachers with the materials and support needed to promote health, enhance academics, and improve classroom culture through purposeful fitness education.

This is not a Band-Aid solution but rather a holistic approach to change what the school day looks like by adding meaningful, strategic activity brain breaks at critical moments throughout the day. Our teachers seamlessly integrate the program so that it becomes an integral part of the school day, not an “extra” that is taken away or skipped when things get busy.  In current and past programs, teachers have seen their students and classrooms truly thrive.  KidFit teaches kids to love fitness and view it simply as a part of their day; it is not about winning or being the best, it is about working hard, setting goals, and having fun! 

Through KidFit, teachers are helping kids find their “sweaty t-shirt”— the manifestation of their hard work, the thing that shows them that they are on the way to achieving their goals.

So, I ask (appropriately on National Running Day), what is your sweaty t-shirt? 

Day 2 Workout

Did you have a good circuit workout today?!?!

Be sure to track your progress along the way.  Writing down your goals and progress helps motivate you and lets you celebrate your success.  Find a system that works for you and go with it!

Goals Check-in: 

  • BIG GOAL: Increase health and wellness and become an example of purposeful daily fitness for the next generation
  • Daily Goal: 30 minutes (or more) of purposeful fitness activity

METRICS: Record the following quick metrics in order to track your progress!

Activity: ________
Minutes Active: _______
Intensity Level of Activity: (using key below) ___

  • 0=no activity
  • 1=mild activity (stroll, slow walking, etc.)
  • 2=moderate activity (quick walking, hike, bike ride, jog, etc. that challenges you but does not greatly elevate HR)
  • 3=Vigorous Activity (running, challenging hike, speed work, heavy weight lifting, etc. that pushes your limits and elevates HR significantly)

(optional) After exercising, I felt __________.

EXAMPLE: Today I completed a grueling circuit workout for 30 minutes at an intensity level of 3.  After exercising, I felt exhausted but refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of my day!

Day 1 Workout

Did you have a good 30 minute “check-in” run today?!?!

Be sure to track your progress along the way. By writing down your goals and progress, you are holding yourself accountable and are more likely to succeed and exceed your goals!

Goals Check-in: 

  • BIG GOAL: Increase health and wellness and become an example of purposeful daily fitness for the next generation
  • Daily Goal: 30 minutes (or more) of purposeful fitness activity

METRICS: Record the following quick metrics in order to show your progress!

Activity: ________
Minutes Active: _______
Intensity Level of Activity: (using key below) ___

  • 0=no activity
  • 1=mild activity (stroll, slow walking, etc.)
  • 2=moderate activity (quick walking, hike, bike ride, jog, etc. that challenges you but does not greatly elevate HR)
  • 3=Vigorous Activity (running, challenging hike, speed work, heavy weight lifting, etc. that pushes your limits and elevates HR significantly)

(optional) After exercising, I felt __________.

EXAMPLE: Today I ran for 30 minutes and 3.5 miles without stopping at an intensity level of 3.  After exercising, I felt tired but motivated to keep working towards my goal!

The Importance of Goals

  1. Set goals.
  2. Track progress.
  3. Celebrate.

Crossing the finish line of my first marathon and stepping in front of a classroom for the first time were two incredibly important moments of my life.  Neither could have happened without setting and monitoring my progress towards goals.

Whether it’s succeeding in academics or competing in athletics, setting goals and tracking progress are crucial.  Having taught for 4 years in Washington, D.C. I saw firsthand the importance of positive goal-setting in my students’ academic, emotional, and physical lives.  Although my primary role was a literacy teacher, I always worked to create a positive culture that celebrated purposeful progress, sharing my own experiences as a way to motivate ALL students to set and work towards ambitious goals.

I have also seen the importance of goal-setting in my personal life.  Early on in college, I knew that I wanted to become an educator through Teach for America.  Having that goal in mind, I worked hard to prepare myself emotionally and academically for the challenges that would inevitably surface.  Additionally, I have seen the power of goal-setting in my fitness pursuits. In fact, before I begin training for any race, I always set a stretch (almost impossible to reach) goal time among other smaller goals, tracking my progress along the way.  Although I do not always reach my stretch time, it motivates me throughout the long workouts and the race itself.  If I don’t have the goal in mind as I work, I will inevitably fall short.  

On Saturday I will be in Seattle putting myself through a fitness challenge as I run my fifth marathon.  A hilly course, I know that I have to overcome mental and physical obstacles as I hope for my stretch goal. I may reach it; I may not.  Either way, I am confident that my goal will motivate throughout the race and afterwards, I will celebrate.