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Evergreen Charter School students participate in fitness challenge

Some students at Evergreen Charter School are getting up a little earlier these days. As part of a 30-day fitness challenge, the students are doing calisthenics before they head to class. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

Some students at Evergreen Charter School are getting up a little earlier these days. As part of a 30-day fitness challenge, the students are doing calisthenics before they head to class.

They can choose from a series of workouts that focus on arms, core, legs and strength, with days of rest built in.

Physical education teacher Jo Giordano said there's a big connection between the body and academic excellence.

"To be quite honest, all of the depression, the sadness, the fatigue, it falls away when we start to activate our bodies. So movement, academic and cognitive functioning is all intertwined," Giordano said.

Some students said they're already seeing the impacts in the classroom.

"Physical activity helps me because I'm a very fidgety person, and doing this in the morning helps me get energy out," sixth-grader Isabel said.

"I'm the kind of kid who might talk a lot in class," sixth-grader Finn said. "And, after every morning at calisthenics, it's just like, you don't really feel like talking, and it's just so easy to do your work and it keeps me a lot more focused."

"I'm not a morning person at all, like, I do not get up out of the bed," sixth-grader Iris said. "And when I start exercising, it really wakes me up."

Students have a variety of workouts to choose from -- chinups, kicks, squats, cartwheels and, of course, good old-fashioned running.

So far, the students are about 15 days into the challenge.

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