Math and fitness go hand in hand at NumberFit, a British company that engages kids in physical activities that develop their math skills. If you live in the UK, see if NumberFit is a good fit for your school, youth group, camp or party. If you live elsewhere, look to NumberFit for inspiration on how to combine math and fitness.
NumberFit’s promotional video explains the gives you an idea of some of their activities. A child described NumberFit’s activities as “very, very fun and very, very maths-y.” You can see races, calisthenics, and math lessons in the short video.
The NumberFit blog offers interesting articles that will help you teach students the connection between math and fitness.
I like Maths in Sport. The article investigates how sprinter Usain Bolt uses mathematics in his personal and professional life, for everything from training to dietary requirements to how many zeroes are in his checks.
Examples of Usain Bolt’s math: (Go to the blog entry for answers and calculations)
- What is the perfect angle for a sprinter’s feet to be at taking off from the blocks?
- How long should it take before a sprinter’s body should be upright, running at 90 degrees to the floor?
- What angle should a sprinter’s arms and legs be at to create the optimum speed and velocity while running?
Another fun NumberFit blog entry is Top 10 Celebrity Mathletes…the famous who love Mathematics!
I don’t want to steal NumberFit’s thunder, so I’ll just list a few:
- Cindy Crawford: earned a scholarship to study Chemical Engineering (with Mathematics) at Northwestern University
- Brian May: before he was a guitarist for Queen, he was a math teacher!
- Teri Hatcher: studied Mathematics and Engineering at De Anza College in Cupertino; she is the daughter of a Nuclear Physicist and Electrical Engineer
Corey’s Math + Fitness Ideas
My Best Multiplication Songs EVER! are good for math and fitness activities. Some ideas:
- March and sing the elevens (they’re to the tune of the US Navy’s march, Anchors Aweigh!)
- Jump as you sing fives (they’re to the tune of Pop! Goes the Weasel)
The Running Quiz
Play this game outside or in a gym. Students stay in the middle of a large area, huddled in a group. One side of the running area is Choice A; the other side is Choice B. (Or true or false, even or odd, whatever)
Ask students a question, give them time to think, then, on your signal, students run to the area corresponding with their choice.
The thinking time is important. You want the students to make their own decisions, not just follow the crowd. Of course, struggling students will likely follow the crowd, but they’ll catch on after a while.
Examples of Running Quiz Questions for Math:
Even or odd
- Ask any number, give kids time to think, then tell them to run to Even or Odd
Prime or Composite
- Ask any number, give kids time to think, then on your signal they run to prime or composite
Adapt the Running Quiz to any subject matter! If you designate one zone as True and the other as False, the quiz works well for social studies and science questions.
For another fun and active math activity, check out Secure the Perimeter!
Have a fun and maths-y time!