A Family Activity

Physical Activity Relay

Learning Objectives

By the end of the lesson, participants will be able to:

  • Identify at least three benefits of being physically active.
  • Name at least three inexpensive ways to be physically active.
  • Apply the idea of pairing physical activity with family time.
  • Use the relay game as an example of how to be physically active indoors.
  • Recall the physical activity recommendations.
  • Monitor their exertion during physical activity.

Materials

Preparation

  1. Locate a large room or open space that will safely accommodate all participants. The space should be at least 30 by 40 feet.
  2. Use the masking tape to designate a start/finish line for each team of participants.
  3. Place each chair 30 to 35 feet from the start/finish line.
  4. Become familiar with the content of each handout prior to implementing the lesson. Photocopy the Recommended Minutes of Physical Activity for Adults, Physical Activity Scoreboard, Physical Activity Pyramid, Let's Get Active, Physical Activity and Exercise Safety, and Stretching Exercises handouts for each participant. If you are teaching this lesson in a series, you may want to reproduce only the handouts that are new to the group.

Warm-Up Activity

  1. Distribute the Recommended Minutes of Physical Activity for Adults handout to each participant, and review the information. Explain to participants that to maintain good health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases, adults need at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every day. Explain that for most people, greater health benefits can be achieved by doing more physical activity. For example, to help manage body weight and prevent gradual weight gain, adults need 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity on most days of the week. To sustain weight loss, adults need 60 to 90 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every day. Note that some people may need to consult with a health care provider before participating in this level of activity.
  2. Distribute the Let's Get Active handout and pens or pencils to participants. Ask participants to complete the handout.
  3. Ask participants to share their answers, and record their responses on the board or sheet of paper for the class to see.
  4. Review the list of responses with the class, and use the discussion to introduce the Physical Activity Relay lesson. Explain that relay games are fun and easy ways to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day.
  5. Distribute the Physical Activity and Exercise Safety handout, and review it with participants. Engage participants in a warm-up by walking in place at a relaxed pace for 3 to 5 minutes.

Instructions

  1. Arrange participants into teams of four to six players.
  2. Have each team stand behind the start/finish line in a single file line.
  3. Demonstrate the following four relay games:
    • Relay 1: On "go," the first player in each team walks briskly to the chair, touches the chair, and walks to the back of the relay line. As soon as the first player crosses the finish line, the next player goes and does the same routine. Continue until the first player returns to the front of the line. Each time a player touches the chair, he or she must say "at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day for good health." The first team to have all of its members complete the relay is the winner.
    • Relay 2: On "go," the first player in each team walks briskly to the chair, circles the chair, and walks to the back of the relay line. As soon as the first player crosses the finish line, the next player goes and does the same routine. Continue until the first player returns to the front of the line. Each time a player circles the chair, he or she must say "eat more fruits and vegetables every day for good health." The first team to have all of its members complete the relay is the winner.
    • Relay 3: On "go," the first player in each team walks briskly to the chair, sits on the chair, gets up from the chair, and walks to the back of the relay line. As soon as the first player crosses the finish line, the next player goes and does the same routine. Continue until the first player returns to the front of the line. Each time a player sits on the chair, he or she must say his or her favorite physical activity before leaving the chair. The first team to have all of its members complete the relay is the winner.
    • Relay 4: On "go," the first player in each team walks briskly to the chair, sits on the chair, does three leg lifts with legs together, gets up from the chair, and then walks to the back of the relay line. As soon as the first player crosses the finish line, the next player goes and does the same routine. Continue until the first player returns to the front of the line. After doing the leg lifts, each player must name one benefit of being physically active before leaving the chair. The first team to have all of its members complete the relay is the winner.
  4. During each relay, instruct all players to march in place and cheer for their team members.
  5. Conclude the lesson by leading a cool-down and stretch session by having participants walk in place and complete a variety of stretches as described in the Stretching Exercises handout. Ask participants how they might use this lesson or a similar lesson at home with their friends and family members. Next, distribute the Physical Activity Scoreboard handout to participants. Also, distribute the Physical Activity Pyramid handout. Encourage participants to use the Physical Activity Scoreboard at home to monitor their physical activity progress. Encourage participants to use the Physical Activity Pyramid handout to learn easy and fun ways to include physical activity in their daily lives.

Expansion Ideas

Dribbling Relay

Use the balls from the All Aboard the Physical Activity Train lesson and have a dribbling skills relay. Instruct each team member to dribble the ball to the chair, around the chair, and then return to the back of the relay line.

Target Heart Rate

Between relays, have participants take their pulse for 15 seconds and multiply the result by four. Have them compare their results to the Target Heart Rate handout to measure their exertion levels.

Tips

  • Using the Stretching Exercise handout, set up stretching stations throughout the room prior to implementing the Warm-Up Activity. Post the pages using adhesive tape. Have participants rotate to each stretching station.
  • Use the Let's Get Active handout to incorporate additional information into the relays.
  • If adequate space indoors is not available, conduct the lesson outside.
  • If participants enjoy being competitive, award prizes to the winning relay teams.
  • Invite a representative from YMCA, YWCA, or Parks and Recreation to present the lesson with you.

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