Last year, Oakridge Elementary parents used donations and sponsorships to buy pedal desks, standup desks and yoga ball chairs to help fidgety kids learn while staying active.
Now, parents are back trying to raise money to expand the program, which received both local and some national attention.
On Tuesdays this month, starting tomorrow, the Oakridge PTA is hosting four evening fitness programs for adults, featuring local fitness and wellness businesses like SpecOps Fitness and Mind Your Body Oasis.
“These adult May fitness classes are one of two fundraising efforts we are currently doing to raise additional funds for the kinesthetic equipment,” explained Dana Dougherty, a mother of three and substitute teacher. “All donations will go toward our mission, all classes are sponsored by the individuals teaching.”
“We have had incredibly positive feedback from parents, students and teachers — they want more!” she told ARLnow.com. “Depending on the funds raised, we will look at adding pieces the teachers would like to add. You can see tons of different options at www.kidsfit.com… there are several great options under kinesthetic classroom desks.”
Money for the initiative will also be raised at the PTA’s Spring Fling on May 22, where teachers and administrators will be dunked for the cause.
“We will have a dunk tank with favorite teachers, principal and perhaps even a school board member participating,” said Dougherty.
The remaining Barre in the Park classes in Rosslyn have been rescheduled from Wednesday to Thursday evenings, starting this week.
Barre in the Park, which is in its second season, is a series of free outdoor classes offered weekly in Rosslyn’s Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway) by exercise studio Lava Barre, in partnership with the Rosslyn Business Improvement District.
(Barre is a type of trendy exercise class that combines elements of ballet with yoga and Pilates.)
Lava Barre is offering this free series in part to promote their new studio in Rosslyn (1528 Clarendon Blvd), which opened this summer. The Rosslyn studio replaced a Lava Barre studio previously located in Clarendon.
The series started in May and is slated to continue into the early fall. Although the classes are free, registration is required. According to Lava Barre, all registered participants need to bring is themselves, a towel or mat and some water.
Absent cancellation due to inclement weather, the remaining Barre in the Park classes will be offered Thursday evenings in Gateway Park from 6-7 p.m. Should a class be cancelled due to weather, the BID says a notification will be sent to those registered for the class via email.
Currently, classes are planned to continue from now until the end of September.
Photo courtesy Lava Barre
Oakridge Elementary is getting desks with bicycle pedals and swinging bars in an effort to incorporate movement and exercise into classroom learnings.
The new desks, as well as yoga ball chairs, are part of a pilot program to improve kids’ ability to learn while in school.
The idea behind the new equipment is based in science, said Heather Suave, a member of Oakridge’s 2Fit2Quit Committee and Wellness Council. Research has shown that when kids’ brains are active, which happens during exercise, they are able to retain more information.
“Kids in elementary school have the wiggles, and it’s a good energy release,” Suave said.
Oakridge Elementary was able to raise $9,000 through sponsorships and donations — from Pentagon Mixed Martial Arts, the Oakridge PTA and individual donations — to buy three of the two person pedal desks, four stand-up/swinging desks and eight yoga ball chairs.
The pilot program has only been in place for a month, Suave said, but it is already showing promise.
Jenn Crain, a third and fourth grade teacher, said the new equipment has helped with keeping her students focused and have not been a distraction in the classroom. She has had the pedal desk and standing desks in her class.
“Some of them prefer the pedal desk, some of them prefer the standing desk, some of them prefer none,” she said.
The kids have also had positive feedback toward the equipment, she said during a presentation.
Maxwell Thomas, an 8-year-old student, likes the pedal desk because they help him concentrate while he does his math schoolwork.
“I can get my body moving while I work,” Maxwell said.
Annabella Brooks, a fifth-grade student, likes the standing/swing-desk “because people have a way to fidget without making noise.”
The desk helps her concentrate and she finds it relaxing, Annabella said.
“It’s easier to think while moving,” she said.
This is the first pilot program in Virginia. The equipment is also used in 30 schools in Texas and in 32 other states, said Lowell Lease, a representative with KidsFit, the company that provides the equipment.
The company has received good feedback on the equipment from other schools as well, Lease said.
“The kids love it,” he said. “The teachers love it because the kids pay attention better.”
A new world record may have been set in Arlington over the weekend.
A D.C. man claims to have set the world record for most pullups done in a 24 hour period, recording the feat on video at the Ballston Crossfit gym at 1110 N. Glebe Road.
John Bocek, a D.C. resident, reported completed 5,801 pullups, setting a new unofficial record. The Guinness World Records still has to approve Bocek’s record before it is an official world record, said Tucker Jones, the owner of Ballston Crossfit.
The last official record was 5,101 pullups set by Michael Tufo on May 3 of this year.
“He smashed the record,” Jones said of Bocek.
Bocek started his pullups at the crossfit gym at 6 p.m. on Saturday and finished at 6 p.m. on Sunday. He initially set out two years ago to break the world record, but the number of pullups for the record increased a couple of times, he said.
His original goal was 5,000 pullups but last month the record was broken again, prompting Bocek to raise his goal to 6,000. While he did not reach that goal, he was very happy with 5,801 repetitions.
“That’s a lot of pullups over 24 hours,” Jones said.
Three hours from the end of his record attempt, an article surfaced saying another unofficial record of more than 5,700 pullups had been set, so Bocek knew he had to make it past that mark to set the record.
At that point, he was past his physical limit but the support from family, friends and viewers around the world kept him going.
“It was probably the toughest thing I’ve done,” Bocek said.
Via donations, the record attempt raised money for a cause championed by Bocek: the Panama Mission Foundation, a non-profit that builds churches and works to spread the Christian gospel in Panamanian rainforest villages.
Bocek says he trained throughout the two years for the pullup challenge, training at different gyms and at least once a week at Ballston Crossfit. He would go to the gym in the middle of the night and train for about six hours, Jones recounted. Training in the middle of the night helped him get ready for doing pullups for 24 hours without sleep.
The training was more intense than his prior preparation for the 100-mile marathons, Bocek said. His strategy for breaking the record was to do 2,500 pullups in the first seven hours, which he was confident of because of his training, then sets of 500 between 15 minute breaks.
As he neared the end, it got increasingly difficult, and Bocek said there were repetitions that didn’t count because he couldn’t get his chin above the bar.
Although he reported being very sore on Monday, Bocek said would “absolutely” be up for another world record attempt, should anyone break his new record.
Screen capture via YouTube
A Pure Barre studio is coming to N. Garfield Street in Clarendon.
The exercise facility will be located near the corner of N. Garfield Street and 11th Street, on the ground floor of the 3001 Washington Blvd office building that’s currently under construction.
Pure Barre will be located next to another exercise-related business, Down Dog Power Yoga. No word yet on when either will open.
Pure Barre utilizes a fast-paced, ballet-inspired “total body workout,” set to music, and advertises itself as “the fastest, most effective, yet safest way to change your body.” The company has more than 150 locations nationwide, including studios that are expected to open soon in Bethesda and in Reston.
A new government study estimates that nearly 80 percent of American adults don’t get the recommended amount of exercise each week (at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 1.25 hours of vigorous-intensity activity, or a combination of both) — potentially setting themselves up for years of health problems.
Think about it like this: It’s hard to wake up and get out of bed early, especially when it’s dark! It’s hard to sweat, and sore muscles hurt. It’s hard to exercise when you’re tired at the end of the day. Once you start, there will be times when you want to give up and it’s often hard to stick with it!
But aging is a lot harder when you haven’t been physically active; it becomes harder to stand up and sit down. With less core strength, you may experience backache and suffer more falls, not to mention being at greater risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer and other diseases. The longer you wait the harder it will be. Make the right choice. Do it now!
Stop making excuses and start making fitness part of your life. I know, you’re too busy, you hate to exercise, you can’t afford it, you get bored easily, everything hurts, you hate the gym, you never see results, you’ve tried and failed…
Turn those excuses into reasons: I’ll have more energy, I’ll sleep better at night, I’ll burn more calories at rest, I’ll be better equipped to handle stress, I’ll increase my lean body mass, I’ll be able to stay focused. I’ll be happier!
Ready to get started? Try these tips to increase your chance of success:
- Make an appointment with yourself. You wouldn’t blow off a doctor’s appointment just because you didn’t feel like going. If you keep your exercise appointment, you won’t need as many doctors appointments!
- Get a buddy. Working out with a friend is more fun, and being accountable to someone else helps you stay on track.
- Set tangible goals. Don’t just say, “I’m going to start exercising.” Take time at the beginning of each week to plan which days you’ll exercise. Write down the time and the activity. Whatever you choose, be sure to elevate your heart rate for a minimum of 30 minutes. This means breathing heavily but able to carry on a conversation.
- Find a form of fitness that works with your budget and schedule. We Arlingtonians have tons of resources available to us. See below, after the jump.
Single Family Home Prices Rise — The average sale price of a single family home in Arlington rose above $850,000 in July, to $853,572, a 5.1 percent increase from one year prior. Townhouse and condominium prices, meanwhile, dropped 0.6 and 3.3 percent respectively. [Sun Gazette]
‘Boot Camp’ for Dogs, Owners — An Arlington-based business, the Thank Dog Bootcamp, was featured on ABC7’s Good Morning Washington program. The bootcamps, which take place in Bluemont and Quincy parks, are for both dogs and their owners, offering “a grueling workout for you… and an obedience lesson for your dog.” [WJLA]
Feds, Va. Sue Over US Airways-American Merger — Virginia has joined a federal lawsuit to block the merger of US Airways and American Airlines. The merger would create the world’s largest airline, and would have implications for those flying out of Reagan National Airport. Together, US Airways and American hold 69 percent of terminal slots at DCA. [Washington Business Journal]
Photo courtesy Anthony Russo
It’s been closed for the past 15 months, but Potomac CrossFit is reopening this weekend at its new location in Courthouse.
Last year, Potomac CrossFit at 1039 N. Highland Street in Clarendon closed, along with nearby businesses, to make way for a new development that’s currently under construction. Tomorrow, the gym will hold a grand reopening celebration at its new home at 1320 N. Courthouse Road.
With more than 8,000 square feet, the Courthouse location offers more than double the space of the previous site. Employees at the new location also boast of shower facilities, new equipment and a revamped class schedule.
Everyone is welcome to stop by for a free class tomorrow (Saturday) at 10:30 a.m. No CrossFit experience is necessary. Immediately following the class, the grand reopening celebration will kick off at 11:30 a.m. Visitors can check out the facility, meet instructors and enjoy food and drinks.
Arlington is now home to another exercise facility, with yesterday’s opening of CrossFit Rosslyn (1100 Wilson Blvd).
The training center is connected to Verve Health & Fitness near the Rosslyn metro. Verve Co-owner Michael Lin explained that part of the existing facility was partitioned off to add CrossFit. Lin believes offering both CrossFit style workouts and more traditional exercise options benefits customers.
“I believe the balance is very important to keep a person as healthy and capable as physically possible,” said Lin.
Lin said there are pluses and minuses to setting up shop in an area that already has a number of CrossFit options, such as the new one coming to Ballston or the one that just closed in Clarendon. But he’s not interested in the competition.
“We’re not doing this to dominate the CrossFit business,” Lin said. “We’re doing this to expand the service to our clients and customers. I think it’s a move in a positive direction for everyone.”
Unlike many other CrossFit facilities which can’t provide showers due to space restrictions, customers can purchase a membership to use Verve’s showers. The facility also touts a unique training program for people of all fitness levels that will build relationships as well as bodies.
“People who are just average Joes are really gonna benefit from CrossFit,” said Lin.
Lin likes the idea of the dual purpose facility so much, that if the decision is ever made to add additional Verve locations, they will also be split facilities to include CrossFit. But for now, he’s content to just stick with the Rosslyn location.
“We’re happy to be a part of the community,” Lin said. “Rosslyn is a funny city where most people go home after work, so I think it will help to have more hang out places for people to go after work. Whether it’s for happy hour or places to eat or places to work out together.”
As part of the grand opening, CrossFit Rosslyn will hold an open house next month. On March 3 from 12:00-3:00 p.m., visitors can try free workouts and yoga classes.
Potomac Crossfit owner Brian Wilson says he was just notified by his landlord that he would have to vacate the space by the end of the month, despite receiving earlier assurances that the gym would be able to stay until the spring. Wilson is planning to move staff and equipment from Potomac Crossfit, which opened in 2008, to his newer Patriot Crossfit gym near the intersection of Lee Highway and Glebe Road.
Wilson hopes loyal gym members will make the extra car trip or bus ride to Patriot Crossfit while he works to secure a new location in Clarendon. He says he’s currently in negotiations with a landlord to lease a space in Clarendon that’s even bigger than the current Potomac Crossfit space. Even if those negotiations prove successful, however, Wilson doesn’t expect the new location would open any sooner than this summer. Wilson added that he’s also in negotiations to lease spaces for crossfit gyms in the Pentagon City and Ballston neighborhoods.
The closing of Potomac Crossfit comes as a planned 300,000 square foot office development in Clarendon nears final county approval. The development — on the block bordered by Washington Boulevard, 11th Street, N. Highland Street and N. Garfield Street — is scheduled to have its site plan go before the Arlington County Board later this month. The developer, Penzance, is hoping to break ground this spring.
Most (if not all) of the other businesses on the block, including the T.A. Sullivan & Son cemetery monument business, are also expected to close as the groundbreaking nears.
The Crystal City 1K Wine Walk — which combines light exercise with moderate drinking — will be back for a second year. The event proved popular enough that it’s being expanded. The wine walk will now be held on two consecutive days: Saturday, Jan. 14 and Sunday, Jan. 15. Participants will be led on a one kilometer indoor course under the streets of Crystal City, with wine and snack stations set up along the way.
The following weekend, Crystal City will hold its inaugural 1K Beer Walk. Featuring the same general format as the wine walk, the beer walk will take place on Saturday, Jan. 21 and Sunday, Jan. 22.
Wine and beer walkers will each be given 20 tickets for sips and snacks, and will each receive a “race” t-shirt.
In February, the annual Crystal Couture fashion show will return to the former underground food court at 1750 Crystal Drive.
Promising “five nights of trunk shows, runway shows, music, open bar, free snacks, free makeovers from makeup artists and hair stylists and chats with wardrobe stylists,” the event will take place from 6:00 to 10:00 each night from Feb. 7 to 11. Admission is free.
Organizers say this year’s event will feature more shopping opportunities and up to 50 percent off designer fashions.
Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser
The 2010 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which polled 8th, 10th and 12th graders in Arlington, found that more teens say they’re getting adequate exercise than three years ago, when the last survey was conducted.
In 2007, 40 percent of teens said they were getting adequate exercise — defined as at least one hour of exercise, five or more days per week. In 2010, that number jumped to 50 percent.
There was little corresponding change in obesity rates, however. The obesity rate remained steady at 9 percent, based on students’ Body Mass Index. In 2010, 13 percent of teens were “at risk for obesity,” compared to 14 percent in 2007. The percentage of students describing themselves as “overweight,” however, actually grew — from 25 percent in 2007 to 27 percent in 2010.
Meanwhile, fewer Arlington teens say they’ve having or have ever had sex.
In 2010, 27 percent of students said they had ever had sexual intercourse, while 18 percent said they’re currently sexually active. In 2007, 30 percent of teens said they had ever had sex, while 20 percent said they were currently sexually active.
Only 4 percent of teens say they were sexually active before age 13, compared to 5 percent in 2007.
Among sexually active youth, 63 percent used a condom in 2010, compared to 61 percent in 2007. Last year 75 percent of students reported using at least one type of reliable birth control.
In 2010, 4 percent of students said they have gotten someone pregnant, versus 5 percent in 2007. The number of students reporting more than four sexual partners in their lifetime remained steady at 8 percent.
Flickr pool photo by Chris Rief