Take your Gym Class Outdoors – Safely!

April 23, 2015

Sunny school days are on the horizon!  With the warm weather comes the opportunity to break outside of the gymnasium and explore the great outdoors.  Taking your class outside for gym is a great way to get their athletic juices flowing, and opens the door for so many new activities.  However, your new outdoor environment and exciting game opportunities present a new set of hazards that you should be aware of.

So what should you look out for when taking your students outside for class?  We’ve compiled a list of some safety tips to keep your students happy and healthy, while enjoying some fun in the sun.

Girl with ball and her teamWarm ups are essential.  With so much wide open space, it’s no doubt that your students will be running wild and free!  One of the best ways to avoid injury is to do some stretching and warm-ups before the games begin.  This will loosen up their muscles and get their bodies ready for some fun physical activity.

What’s the name of the game? Be sure to explain the rules of all games thoroughly, and make sure that everyone understands them.  Getting to break out of school and spend an hour outdoors is exciting, which means your students may get a little rowdy.  It might be a good idea to explain the rules before you bring the class outside, so you’re guaranteed to have their full attention.

Footwear matters. Whether you’re playing kickball, softball, running the track or having a hula hooping contest, proper footwear can make or break the game.  Remind your students to always wear sneakers on gym days.  It’s worth sending a memo out to parents to ensure that their children are prepared to participate safely in class.

Sunscreen is key. Don’t forget to remind your students to apply sunscreen on days where class is being held outside.  It would be a great idea to keep some extra sunscreen handy, just in case!  According to an article by the University of Michigan Health System,  “the American Academy of Dermatology estimates that 80 percent of a person’s lifetime sun damage occurs before the age of 18.”  Encourage your students to wear hats and clothing that covers their shoulders on outdoor gym days to help protect them from the sun.

So there you have it!  Your gym class is ready to tackle a new fitness journey.  In the spirit of friendly competition, don’t forget to make sure your scoreboards are functioning properly after the winter months, and check your outdoor benches and bleachers to be able to accommodate spectators.  At Nickerson Corporation, we believe that it is important for students to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.  To learn more about our athletic products and outdoor seating options visit nickersoncorp.com or give us a call at 631-666-0200 today.