August 4, 2023

Back to School Tips for Increasing Students’ Physical Activity (and Academic Success)!

Looking forward to a fun and exciting school year? Keep movement top of mind.

Physical activity is vital to children’s overall well-being, academic performance, and cognitive health. Promoting physical activity in short increments is an excellent way to engage students and enhance the physical, social, emotional, and academic outcomes in the classroom. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), increased levels of physical activity have proven benefits across the board, both near-term and in the future:  

  • Improves ability to focus, memory retention, and concentration.   
  • Increases feel-good hormones, known as endorphins, to improve overall mood. 
  • Builds bone and heart health. 
  • Improves sleep quality. 
  • Develops children’s social and critical thinking skills. 
  • Helps to lower the risk of depression, anxiety, and chronic diseases. 

There are several ways educators and support staff can engage students in physical activity by incorporating fitness breaks in their daily instructional routine.

For instance, try sky reaches. Invite students and adults to sit or stand, then and reach their arms to the sky, stretching upward as high as they feel comfortable. Repeat this movement three times to increase flexibility and release muscle tension. Check out the Healthier Generation Action Center for more active breaks for all abilities. 

Walk, Listen, and Learn! 

The Walking Classroom podcast program is a great way for students and educators to get moving without sacrificing instructional time. It is an innovative way for students to learn and engage in physical activity while enriching their knowledge on health literacy. A short 20-minute walk provides students and educators with an opportunity to get active and learn. Educational podcasts adhere to state curriculum standards to ensure that students learn material aligned with state level standards for academic success.  

Check out what other educators are saying about their experiences using The Walking Classroom.

Even better? ESSER funding can be utilized to bring The Walking Classroom to your students! Watch this webinar to learn how.  

Tools to Promote The Walking Classroom in Your School Community 

Thousands of schools, districts, and out-of-school time sites around the country use The Walking Classroom. Are you one of them?  

Start your school year off on the right foot by celebrating the innovative and active learning that comes with The Walking Classroom. Use the materials below to encourage your staff and school families to make the most of The Walking Classroom. 

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Sample Messages

Our class is so excited to walk, listen, and learn with The Walking Classroom and @HealthierGeneration this school year! Learn all about The Walking Classroom and the physical, academic, and social benefits of walking at 

Get ready to walk, listen, and learn! This year, we'll be using The Walking Classroom to get active while we grow our brains. Learn all about The Walking Classroom and check out a sample podcast at!

When you share photos and videos of your walks on social media, be sure to tag @HealthierGen on Twitter or @HealthierGeneration on Facebook and Instagram for the chance to be featured!