Cardio Fitness Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Use this lesson plan to teach your students about cardio exercise and its importance. Students will read a text lesson explaining what cardio exercise is, and will learn how to make it a part of daily life. Use the questions, activity, and quiz to make learning stick.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define cardio exercise
  • explain why regular cardio exercise is healthy
  • make a plan to incorporate regular cardio exercise into daily life


1 - 1.5 hours


Key Vocabulary

  • Cardio exercise

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.3

Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.4

Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6-8 texts and topics.


NOTE - At least one week before this class, instruct students to keep a cardio log, recording types and amount of cardio exercise daily.

  • Start the lesson by having students tally the total amount of cardio exercise they did on a weekly basis. Share and discuss the types of activities students did, and emphasize that the goal of this class is to learn about cardio fitness and improve all students' health, not to judge others. Share your own log as a model.
  • Set aside logs and distribute the lesson The Benefits of Incorporating Daily Cardio Exercise.
  • Read the first section, 'A Sedentary Lifestyle,' together. Ask:
    • What does sedentary mean?
    • What are some reasons people are sedentary?
    • Is being sedentary bad?
    • Why does Jack not feel healthy?
  • Next, read the 'Benefits of Cardio Exercise' section with students.
  • Define 'cardio exercise' and have students compare the amount of cardio exercise they did with the recommendations from the lesson. Provide for privacy.
  • Ask:
    • Why will Jack get benefits even if he can't meet the standard?
    • How does cardio exercise keep us healthy?
    • What are some of the benefits of cardio exercise?
  • Read the 'Ways to Fit Cardio into Daily Life' section with students.
  • Share the barriers you have to getting cardio exercise, such as family obligations or work, and then have students (privately or with a partner) reflect on the barriers they face.
  • Brainstorm ways to overcome these barriers, leading with an example of how you made more time for cardio in your own life. Help students think of ways they can overcome constraints like lack of time or equipment, such as walking to school instead of taking the bus.
  • Discuss, model, and list various exercises and activities that can be used to increase cardio fitness.
  • Read the 'Lesson Summary' together and take the quiz to check understanding.

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