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What you need
Lesson Content
Handout [html] [pdf]
Press Release [Word]
•Evaluation [Word]
Recess Time!

Lesson Plan [pdf]

Learner objectives

As a result of this presentation, participants will:

  • Regain (or gain) the feeling that physical activity can be fun
  • Be able to identify at least five benefits of physical activity


What you need
  • Handouts
  • Flip chart paper and markers
    • Before the session, write on the flipchart the three steps to being more physically active that are listed in the lesson.
    • If you plan to do just one or two of the activities, summarize the instructions on the flipchart.
  • Paper plates (2 per person) if you do the fanning activity


When you work with groups, walk the talk by incorporating physical activity whenever possible - and make it fun!  So feel free to use the activities in this lesson and on the handout as "waker-uppers" or "take-a-quick-stretch" activities in the middle of meetings, conferences, etc.


Time Content/Suggestions Learning Reinforcer
10 min. Introduce the session by asking participants, What are some benefits of regular physical activity?

Possible answers:

  • increases physical fitness
  • helps build and maintain healthy bones and muscles
  • helps maintain healthy joints
  • builds endurance
  • builds muscular strength
  • helps manage weight
  • lowers risk factors for cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and Type II diabetes
  • helps relieve stress
  • helps control blood pressure
  • promotes psychological well-being and self-esteem
  • reduces feelings of depression and anxiety
  • improves blood circulation
  • improves energy level
  • improves older adults' ability to move without falling

Physical activity doesn't have to be a traditional workout.  According to the Surgeon General and Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the recommendation for adults is to accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most or all days of the week.  The good news is the minutes can accumulate throughout the day.

Flipchart:  Write benefits as they are named
10 min. Let's take part in a fun physical activity right now!  Do Hand Shakes activity.  Follow handout directions.

How did you feel doing the Hand Shakes activity?  Participants may answer "silly," "fun," "goofy."

Did it feel like exercise?
Why not?
Because, like recess in elementary school, it was fun!  If you could make physical activity more enjoyable, would you do it more often?

Discuss the 3 steps by Dayle Hayes, a registered dietitian, on how to be more physically active:

  1. Change "E" word from exercise to enjoyment.
  2. Start slow and celebrate your successes.
  3. Choose activities that are safe and comfortable for your body.

Let's try out another fun, easy physical activity.  Do the Itsy-Bitsy Spider activity.  Follow handout directions.

Exercise can be fun and enjoyable!  Think about recess and how much fun it was to run out onto the playground and release all the pent-up energy.  Let's think about ways we can incorporate physical activity into our lives, including fun, "kid-like" ways:

If needed, some suggestions to get the group started:

  • Race your kids to the car
  • Take a walk and don't stop until you find a penny
  • Change the TV channel without a remote
  • Deliver e-mail personally
  • Park farther away
Handout:  "Recess Time!"






Flipchart with steps written


5-10 min. Let's finish up our recess time today with one last fun recess activity - the Synchronized Chair Dance.  Follow directions on handout.

Encourage participants to try out the other activities on the handout or make up some of their own!


Reinforce the bottom line:  Enjoy physical activity by regaining the feeling of fun you felt when you were a child.





Evaluation form



Lesson plan and handout based on "Recess Time!" developed by Betty Holmes, MS, RD, Regional Project Coordinator, Wellness IN the Rockies, and printed in Conference Guide for Shaping a Healthy Future:  A Rocky Mountain Conference on Weight Realities, April 26-28, 2000, Jackson, WY.
Adapted by Darlene Christensen for Small Victories, a mini-lesson series promoting positive food, physical activity, and body image attitudes and behaviors.  Small Victories reflects the mission and principles of WIN Wyoming, a multi-agency, multi-state network that promotes healthy lifestyles instead of a specific body size, shape, or weight.  WIN Wyoming is coordinated through Department of Family & Consumer Sciences, University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service.  0203; slightly revised 0706
Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Glen Whipple, Director, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming 82071.  Persons seeking admission, employment, or access to program of the University of Wyoming Shall be considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, political belief, veteran status, sexual orientation, and marital or familial status.  Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication or program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact their local UW CES Office.  To file a complaint, write the UW Employment Practices/Affirmative Action Office, University of Wyoming, P.O. Box 3434, Laramie, Wyoming 82071-3434.  The University of Wyoming and the United States Department of Agriculture cooperate.
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Updated on 05/08/2007