Working Out While Staying In

Physical Education teachers make fun and active workout videos for students quarantined in their homes

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Sarah Percy

Mr. Michael Bunton made workout videos for his students stuck at home. He is finding fun ways to incorporate his daughter in his routine to put a smile on his viewers faces.

By Sarah Percy, Francis Howell Central High School

Quarantining in your own home is no easy task. The hours become days, the days weeks, and the weeks a month. And all the while, as time goes on, your motivation continues to deteriorate with each passing minute.

Motivation to do the school assignments that at this point seem monotonous and a way to fill the never-ending boredom. Motivation to dig yourself out of the comforts of your bed after binge-watching a 3 season long show. Motivation to change up your new diet, filled with potato chips and ramen, by adding the slightest bit of something green in color. Or even the motivation to step out into the sunlight and enjoy the seldom seen temperatures reach beyond the chilling forecast of 30 degrees. While our main focus as students is the ever-growing school work we must accomplish, P.E. teachers care more about our overall health than the percentages in the grade book.

Keeping your body in shape in a time where you can’t travel to a gym or go get a salad down the street, is not an effortless request. The physical education teachers understand and respect this, but do not avert from the simple truth that now, more than ever, the body needs to be kept in a state of health. That is why they have banded together to deliver their teachings and advice to you from the comforts of your own home. Mr. Michael Bunton shares more about what he is doing to keep the students he cares about healthy.

“I am making in-home workout videos with my daughter Brooklyn and my dog Rocky. It is hard for us to get out and go to a gym now but we want our students to know that we can still get good exercise while being home during this pandemic,” Mr. Bunton explained.

While being in quality physical shape is a key factor in the teachings of these PE educators, the most crucial feeling they want to provide kids with is not the feeling of burning muscles, but the joy of laughter. Mr. Malach Radigan shares his main goal in terms of why he is creating these videos.

“Our goal here is interaction with our kids and trying to make them laugh. We live in a broken world – viruses, death, sickness, mean people, etc. – so all we want is to bring happiness and laughter to our kids at FHC,” Mr. Radigan elaborated.

Mr. Andrew Carter, a member of the comedic PE teacher trio, was inspired by Mr. Radigan to make YouTube videos as well. For him, the channel was used as a mix between a comedy show and a workout routine. Mr. Carter talks about what makes his videos slightly different from the typical sweat-drenching drills.

“It was to be more of a comedy to show our students it is important to still have fun even during social distancing and staying home. Most at home workouts so far that I have seen have been all body weight exercises. But in mine I use canned vegetables and gallon jugs of water to demonstrate my weights,” Mr. Carter explained.

Not only have these goofy, yet effective videos helped all the students struggling to get out of bed or who need a good laugh, but also the coaches making the videos. The teachers are also stuck at home, wrestling with the new adaptations they’ve been forced to make. However, for these three, working hard to make something that will plaster a smile across the faces of the students they miss, has given them a new purpose during their extended home vacation. Mr. Carter goes into more detail about what exactly the videos have done for him personally.

“The videos have allowed me to try something completely new which is putting videos on YouTube which I had never done. It allows some to maybe see a side of me they have never seen. The big thing right now is that we find whatever it is we can to keep us in a good health balance. How can we stay mentally sharp and well? How can I stay physically active? How can I continue to get social interaction with others in a safe way? These videos have given me a way to hit two of those. Since we are all going through this, we can all find ways to help each other out,” Mr. Carter concluded.

This story was originally published on FHC Today on May 11, 2020.