Fitness Trail

Fitness Trail
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Station 1

Fitness Trail

We are thankful for the commitment of the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Rod Henry, former President/CEO of the Chamber and to everyone who was involved in this project.  Our school community is excited that our school now has a fitness trail that was built for the students, staff, parents, and community members to enjoy.

The construction of the fitness trail for Davis Park began in the spring of 2011 and was completed by the time school started in the fall of the same year.

Our students will benefit a great deal from the fitness trail.  Students will increase their fitness level.  They will also learn the benefits of walking and exercising.  The project offers different levels of activities for individual children. 
We have developed a curriculum to put in place on the various ways our kids will use the trail.  We also have a plan in place to encourage parents and the community to use the trail.  This trail will be used by students, staff and families.  It will provide classes with an alternative fitness activity and in the process they will have fun. 


The purpose for a fitness trail here at Davis Park is to raise awareness of a physically active lifestyle.  We want to encourage the students to be active outside for recess.  The availability of the trail will help to engage students who might not otherwise participate in game activities occurring during recess.

There are many benefits to be gained with a fitness trail.  With an ever increasing obesity rate this trail can help to improve overall health of the students and assist them in weight management.  Cardiovascular health can be greatly improved with regular use, and with creativity flexibility, and muscular strength/endurance can be enhanced.  Another benefit is educational.  Many studies have been done that show a strong correlation between physical activity, being fit, and enhancing learning in the classroom. 

There are several uses for the fitness trail.  One being recess use by offering an incentive to students for number of miles.  It could be used at other times during the school day as well.  A teacher seeing a need to give the kids a break from class work and get them moving could use it for a brief time, increasing the circulation of oxygenated blood to the brain.  This can help improve focus and learning.  The trail can also be used as a part of physical education to work on aerobic health.  After school hours the trail would be available to those in the neighborhood who may want a safe place for exercise. 

Supporting the Curriculum

Running Mania:  Have the entire class start running counterclockwise in a circle around the track at an easy pace.    Designate a lead runner and a back runner.  Start the class running.  On the signal the back runner picks up the pace and begins running to the front.  Each runner he passes falls in behind him and does the same.  The run is complete when the original lead runner and back runner are back at their beginning positions. 
Reference:  “Aerobics With Fun”, pg. 117.


Interval Training:  Is a mix of a work load effort and a rest interval.  The idea is to work relatively hard for a time or distance period, followed by a tapered off rest interval.  Below is a chart that can be utilized and would be more effective if done a couple times a week.  This would be a progression of increased intensity at each level. 

            Distance interval could be designated as a quarter lap or half lap.
            Time interval could be 20-30 seconds with a whistle to signal change. 

                                    Work Interval              Rest Interval

                        Week 1:  Fast Walk                   Slow Walk
                        Week 2:  Slow Jog                    Walk
                        Week 3:  Fast Jog                      Slow Jog
                        Week 4:  Run                            Jog
                        Week 5:  Skipping                   Walking
Reference:  “Aerobics With Fun”, pg. 120

Jogging/Walking Rally:  Use the six fitness stations as landmarks around the track.
                      Station 1:  Walk fast to station 2.   
                      Station 2:  Jog to station 3.
                      Station 3:  Walk slowly to station 4.
                      Station 4:  Run to station 5.
                      Station 5:  Walk fast to station 6.
                      Station 6:  Skip to station 1.
                            Repeat if desired.
Reference:  “Aerobics With Fun”, pgs. 121, 122.

Circuit Training:  In circuit training the students will utilize the six fitness stations around the track.  The students will perform the exercise at each station for a designated number of repetitions depending on fitness level.  After completion of the exercise the students move quickly to the next station.  Continue till all the station exercises have been performed.  Divide the class evenly among the six stations for starting positions.  The circuit can be repeated a second time if time permits. 






1  Stretching


Variety of leg stretches and upper body stretches

10-15 seconds each stretch

20-25 seconds each stretch

30 seconds each stretch

2  Jump Touch  Beam

Repeat Jumps: touch highest point that you can reach

3-5 repetitions

6-8 repetitions

9-12 repetitions

3  Sit Up Bench

Hook feet under bar, cross arms in front of chest

2-10 repetitions

6-20 repetitions

15-30 reps.

4  Spring Up    


Place hands on bar, spring up and hold with straight arms

Hold for 5 seconds then repeat

Hold for 10 seconds then repeat

Hold for 15 seconds then repeat

5  Vertical Ladder

Climb up the ladder.   Alternative is to reach up as high as possible and hold on with feet off the ground.

Climb up one time, pause at the top and hold for 5 seconds

Climb up two times, pausing at the top for 10 seconds.

Climb up three times pausing at the top for 10-15 seconds.

6  Beam Run

Walk across the beam forward or sideways

Perform 1 time

Perform 2 or 3 times

Perform 4 or 5 time

Reference: “Aerobics With Fun”, pg. 123, 124

Upper Body:  The purpose of this activity is to improve muscular endurance of the upper body while walking the track.  This is best done with the students in pairs in order to provide a rest interval.  Each pair of students would have one exercise band to share.  While walking students will perform a movement using the exercise bands for a quarter lap or half lap and then hand off to their partner.  Below is a suggested list of movements, others could be incorporated as well.

1.  Pull Down:  Hold the band over head and bring arms down laterally to shoulder height, repeat.  Looks like the arm portion of a jumping jack.

2.  Chest Fly:  Hold the band behind the back.  With extended arms bring the hands together in front of the chest, repeat.

3.  Back Fly:  Hold the band in front of the chest arms extended.  Bring the arms back laterally to the side, repeat.

4.  Punches:  Hold the hand behind the back.  Punch out forward alternating hands.

5.  Triceps Extension:  Hold the band in front of chest.  One arm extended to the side, other arm bent at elbow, hand in front of chest.  Extend bent arm to side for a number of repetitions then switch arm positions.

6.  Lateral Deltoid Raise:  Hold one end of the band at belly button.  Hold the other end and maintain a straight arm while raising up laterally to the side to shoulder level.  Perform for a number of repetitions then switch arm positions. 

A Walking Program: The following is a sample of a walking program for four weeks.  This sample will show three days a week program.  Of course this can be modified to two days a week and extending the number of weeks.  Also modify to the students ability.  Terms to be familiar with are “Alternating Pace”, and “Endurance Pace”. 

Alternating pace refers to walking at a 4 mph rate for about four minutes, then walking at a casual rate for a short period. 

Endurance pace refers to maintaining a 4 mph rate for the entire time. 

A 4 mph rate is a fairly brisk walk that would cover 1 mile in 15 minutes. 

        Week 1:  Distance ¾ mile; time goal 12 minutes.
            Day 1:  Alternating pace (try to maintain 4 mph for half the time).
            Day 2:  Alternating pace (try to maintain 4 mph for ¾ the time).
            Day 3:  Endurance pace.

        Week 2:  Distance 1 mile; time goal 15 minutes.
            Day 1:  Endurance pace ½ mile, alternating pace ½ mile.
            Day 2:  Endurance pace ¾ mile, alternating pace ¼ mile.
            Day 3:  Endurance pace 1 mile.

         Week 3:  Distance 1 ¼ miles, time goal 19 minutes.
            Day 1:  Endurance pace ½ mile, alternating pace ¾ mile.
            Day 2:  Endurance pace ¾ mile, alternating pace ½ mile.
            Day 3:  Repeat Day 2.

        Week 4:  Distance 1 ¼ miles, time goal 19 minutes.
            Day 1:  Endurance pace 1 mile, alternating pace ¼ mile.
            Day 2:  Repeat Day 1.
            Day 3:  Endurance pace 1 ¼ miles. 

Younger students (K, 1st, maybe 2nd) may be closer to a 3 mph pace (20 minute mile). 

It is a good idea to check students’ heart rate at the end of the session.  If they are in the training zone their heart rate will be 120 – 140 beats per minute.  Keep It Simple (KISS).  Have them find their pulse on carotid artery or radial (wrist).  Time them for six seconds as they count the beats.  Simply multiply by 10 to get average rate.  This is something we will practice in PE and will take time to get any accuracy.  Students not reaching training zone need to work harder. 
Reference “Aerobics With Fun”, pgs. 111 – 113.

A special thanks to those who made this a reality

It is with extreme pleasure that we acknowledge the generous financial pledges of several community companies and businesses.  The following  is a list of places that have committed to donate money for the purpose of constructing a fitness trail and fitness stations on the Davis Park Elementary School playground. 

Rose Hulman Institute of Technology/Introduction to Design Class designed the fitness trail.  Wabash Valley Asphalt will lay the asphalt.  Rick Long and Chuck Zimmerman, VCSC Facilities Department, will oversee the project.  Indiana State University freshman will volunteer their labor as part of a Freshman Class Legacy Service Learning Project.  The VCSC will stripe and restripe the needed areas.  They will also provide new playground mulch and install the fitness stations.  The other organizations that have pledged to donate money are: 

1.  Judi Evelo, Owner/Realtor of Century 21 Advantage,     2.  Vectren,     3.  Danisco,     4.  Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce,     5.  Time Warner Cable Business Class,     6.  AET, Inc.,      87  Kemper CPA Group LLP,     8.  Frontier Communications,     9.  Indiana American Water Company,     10.  Baeslers Market,     11.  Terre Haute Savings Bank,    12.  Benita and Rod Henry,     143  Greater Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce Foundation,     14.  Kristie Sturgeon, and      15.  Nipsco Sugar Creek Generating Plant. 

This is a total of $21,000.  The funds will be collected and dispursed by the Greater Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce Foundation.          

Station 4
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