Welcome to my blog and thanks for checking it out.  I will be blogging about many different topics, including: fitness; recess; physical education; health; teaching; and more.  If there's a specific part of those topics you're interested in, let me know and I'll try to cover it.  If you have any questions or feedback for me, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I look forward to having a conversation with you.

Stay healthy!

Curt Hinson, Ph.D.

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Jingle Bells Dance

If you're looking for a great dance to teach this time a year, I have a simple, easy-to-do one for you.  It's called the Jingle Bells Dance, obviously it is performed to the popular holiday song, Jingle Bells.  The nice thing about the Jingle Bells song is that it is a non-religious holiday song.  Most people think of Jingle Bells as a Christmas carol, however the song itself is about a sleigh ride through the snow, with no mention of Christmas.  So the song really is about celebrating winter without attaching any religious significance.  Below is a description of how to perform the dance.  I've done this dance with 1st grade through 6th grade, but you can basically do it with any level.  Best of luck with it.

The Jingle Bells Dance

Have the dancers form pairs and stand in a double circle (concentric circles) with the inside partner facing out and the outside partner facing in, hands joined.  Begin with both partners going counter-clockwise (CCW).  The outside partner will travel to the right and the inside partner will travel to the left.

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Comments on the Illinois AHPERD Convention

I just got back from the Illinois AHPERD Convention in St. Charles IL.  It was a great convention with about 3000 people in attendance.  I just want to thank those participants who came to my three presentations.  I appreciate your interest in my work and hope that the activities I shared benefit you in your teaching.  I did submit the handouts from my sessions to the IAHPERD website and I believe they become available to all attendees on December 10th.  If you have any questions about the games and activities I presented, feel free to email or call me.  Also, if any of you are interested in my Dr. Recess program for your school or need a presenter for your Professional Development, please don't hesitate to contact me.  I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of your convention ad I look forward to coming back again next year.  Thanks!  Curt

What is recess?


When most people think of recess they think of a time for children to go outside, run around a bit and burn off excess energy. The hope is that the physical activity will make them a little tired so that when they return to the classroom they'll be exhausted just enough to sit still and be quiet for the remainder of the day. Unfortunately, that's not really the purpose of recess. Instead, recess has four main goals. First, it is important to provide children with moderate to vigorous physical activity each day. Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2014) and the American Heart Association (2014) recommend children receive at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily. Unfortunately, most kids don't receive nearly that much physical activity on a daily basis. In fact, during the typical school day some schools only offer 10 to 20 minutes of recess time each day. Second, recess is an opportune time to develop social-emotional skills. Allowing students to socialize with their peers in an unstructured environment is critical in helping them develop self-esteem and interpersonal skills.

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Motivating Students to Move

Motivating children to exercise, move, or participate in vigorous physical activity can often be a painstaking task. Many of today’s children seem to be less interested in being active and more interested in be entertained. This obviously poses a threat to their well-being through increased levels of obesity and heart disease factors. Motivation typically occurs from two different perspectives: Extrinsically and intrinsically. Extrinsic motivation is the most common form of motivation found in schools. It is a form of motivation that evolves from outside of the person and is usually associated with a bribe, threat, punishment, or reward. It is more or less a form of manipulation, with the bribe, threat, punishment, or reward used to entice the individual to do something to either get the reward or avoid the punishment. Extrinsic motivation is fairly easy to use and works reasonably well. In other words, it doesn’t take much effort to get people to do something you want them to do if you use the right bribe, threat, punishment or reward. Unfortunately, extrinsic motivation is a very short-term form of motivation. It works as long as the bribe, threat, punishment or reward continues to be offered. However, once the extrinsic motivator is removed the motivation it was creating decreases rather quickly. Also, because it is based on manipulation, extrinsic motivation has a tendency to interfere with the development of self-responsibility, a necessary skill if a person is expected to become self-motivated.

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Easing Symptoms of Anxiety Through Exercise

If you suffer from any kind of anxiety and are in the process of seeking treatment, do not be surprised if your doctor or healthcare provider includes a regular exercise regimen in your prescription. Exercise and regular physical activity have been proven to help ease and soothe the frazzled nerves of people suffering from anxiety. More than minimizing anxiety attacks, exercise also makes it easier for people to manage symptoms of anxiety.

How exercise works to ease anxiety?

Some of the most common symptoms of anxiety include shortness of breath, heart palpitations, hyperventilation, dizziness, and stress. These symptoms are easily remedied or minimized by exercise. Regular cardiovascular exercise strengthens the heart and lungs – organs affected by the symptoms. By making the heart stronger, exercise helps lower blood pressure and regulate heartbeat. A stronger heart also ensures that enough oxygen is supplied to the brain which minimizes dizzy spells. Cardiovascular exercise also increases lung power which prevents hyperventilation and shortness of breath. Exercise also reduces stress by encouraging the release of endorphins or feel-good hormones in the body.

Aside from improving your body's capability to handle anxiety symptoms, exercise also offers benefits that can make your general condition better.

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Fitnessology [Fit’ness-ol’o-gy]

A valuable way to lose weight is to increase your resting metabolism. This refers to the calories your body burns while you’re at rest. To increase your resting metabolism you need to increase your overall muscle mass. This is because muscle cells use up more energy than fat cells. Weight or resistance training are the best methods for increasing muscle mass.