Instant Recess is a great tool for educators to interact with youth and encourage them to be more physically active. This resource is designed to provide an opportunity for educators and youth alike to be “Champions for
Change” and fight the battle of childhood obesity by adding a little recess into the day.
The Instant Recess DVD would best benefit students ranging from 7 to 12 years of age and educators that work with these groups; although the video shows mainly middle-school aged children participating in the exercises.
The video contains a brief introduction to the athletes that lead and narrate the program, as well as other notable athletes that appear in the video who children can relate to and be inspired by. The rest of the DVD provides about a 12 minute warm up, workout, and cool down.
The host athlete demonstrates the moves and each exercise is broken down into 10-count segments. The slow pace makes it easy to follow along, and is the perfect speed for those who may be new to exercise. No equipment is required to perform the exercises; just comfortable clothing, plenty of space to move, and “an ‘I can’ attitude”. The resource does not mention any physical activity guidelines for youth, but the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends children and adolescents perform 60 minutes (1 hour) or more of physical activity a day per the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.
The DVD has very good visual and sound quality. If an educator wants to preview the resource before ordering it he or she can view the video, in its entirety, online at Instant Recess’s website. The website opens to a blank media player which could be discouraging, but once the educator presses the “play” button the video will start. The video appears a little dated, but the developers state that newer versions are being created.
The User’s Guide is a small booklet that gives a concise explanation as to why Instant Recess was created and how to use the DVD safely and effectively. The booklet is illustrated with colorful pictures of kids at play, healthy foods, and fitness equipment. The guide gives tips about hydrating during exercise, listening to your body, and following your own fitness level. The guide also provides suggestions such as allowing students to bring their own music to follow along with the DVD. It provides an introduction to both the Network for a Healthy California and Professional Athlete’s Council, the two organizations that collaborated to make Instant Recess.
A list of resource links are provided in the back of the guide if the user wants to learn more about the organizations that created Instant Recess or other resources covering physical activity or nutrition. Information on where to order more DVDs is also provided at the end of the guide.
Instant Recess provides an attitude that being physically fit is “cool”. It can be used in school and after-school, as well as in community-based organizations. It allows teachers and students to incorporate physical activity into the school day in a fun way. The program explains that in order to be healthy physical activity and nutritious meals go hand in hand.