The Top 5 School Gym Equipment Essentials
Many people view P.E. as a non-essential lesson for school children to undertake, especially when it’s compared to subjects like maths, English and science, but it’s actually one of the most important parts of the school curriculum.
Childhood obesity is on the rise in the UK, with an estimated one in five 10-11-year-olds and one in 10 4-5-year-olds being classified as overweight. There are many reasons why a child might be overweight, including:
- Low levels of physical activity
- Being fed larger portions than is needed
- Parents who lack nutritional awareness
In an effort to curb childhood obesity and to instil good lifestyle habits in children, schools have a responsibility to provide them with adequate P.E. lessons. For some children, gym classes are the only form exercise they might undertake in a week which means providing an all-encompassing workout is paramount.
This means schools need to have fully equipped gyms with sufficient equipment that gives children a comprehensive workout. School budgets are often tight which makes the need for investing in high quality, multipurpose equipment even more important.
We have put together a list of the top five school gym equipment essentials we believe every school should have; each piece providing children with ample opportunity to get a sufficient workout to remain healthy.
1. Exercise Bikes
Having exercise bikes in your school gym is a great way to incorporate a cardio workout in such a way that isn’t as taxing on the body as cross country or distance running. Not everyone is a capable runner, with some people (children included) finding the pressure it places on their joints too much to bear. In this instance, an exercise bike is perfect because it boosts the heart rate and gets the body working, but it doesn’t place any pressure on knees, shins and ankles which can easily become injured through running.
It’s thought that an hour of cycling can burn as many as 600 calories which makes it one of the most comprehensive workouts. Schools can host mock spin classes provided they have enough bikes for every student in class, and it’s something children of all physical capabilities can get on board with.
One of the most effective forms of cardio is running. It is a great way to build stamina and endurance in a way that can benefit children in other aspects of their fitness whilst getting their heart pumping and working the legs. You don’t just need to go running on a treadmill though – children who struggle with jogging can walk instead. Treadmills that can work on an inclination are particularly good at building lower body strength whilst working the heart and this can be done whilst both running and walking.
Treadmills are exceptionally easy to use which means most children will be able to operate them with no trouble. In addition, the risk of injury is substantially reduced when compared to road running and cross country routes because there are no obstacles to navigate, making it a much safer alternative.
3. Rowing Machines
One way to ensure children get a full-body workout is by equipping your school gym with rowing machines. This piece of equipment works the legs, arms, back, chest and core – allowing children to target every muscle group with one session on one piece of equipment. Lots of rowing machines come with games installed on the screen which allows children to remain engaged whilst exercising effectively. Other types of rowing machines are available which have real water – this is particularly good for older children who are looking to develop their resistance training.
Rowing burns lots of calories which will go a long way to burning fat and keeping children from becoming overweight, making it all the more essential for school gyms. Not only this, it’s an effective form of cardio which promotes a healthy heart.
There is more to getting fit than just cardio. Children can vastly benefit from strength training as a way to bolster their ability in other types of exercise, including football, ice skating, tennis, dancing and rugby. Dumbbells are perfect for children because they come in a range of sizes which means there’s a weight for everyone, although they’re more targeted at older children.
You can use dumbbells to do a floor workout which incorporates exercises like lunges and star jumps, making them a particularly useful piece of equipment for schools who don’t have much room for bulky pieces of equipment.
5. Exercise Mats
When it comes to school gyms, versatility is essential, and no piece of equipment is as multi-faceted as the humble exercise mat. Exercise mats can be used for everything, from yoga and sit-ups to gymnastics and warm-ups for other forms of sport. Able to lend itself to any sport, gym mats are particularly useful for enhancing flexibility which can help with balance and posture – something that is much needed given school children spend most of their days sitting hunched over a desk.
Get in Touch
If you want to find out more about gym equipment for schools, please get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help you plan out your school gym and kit it out with equipment that will be of utmost use to your children.