Routine: Preparing to Go to the Gym Lesson Plan

Routine: Preparing to go to the Gym

Created by Rachel Steinberg, 3L Place, January 2019

Applies to: Life Skills, ADEF

Purpose: To support members in orienting slowly into an activity by highlighting self-awareness and sensory integration through practical gym-related exercises (i.e. stretching).

Objectives: Members will participate in the routine and be fully oriented to the outing before going to the gym.

Materials needed:

  • PowerPoint visual and presentation screen (attached below)
  • Whiteboard markers
  • Related Social Script (i.e. “Why We Exercise”)
  • Resistance bands, yoga mats, or any preferred stretching equipment

Activity Steps:

      1.  Follow the PowerPoint visual. (If you are not doing the activity in the morning, feel free to edit the first slilde). Facilitate verbally and nonverbally. An encouraging look can go a long way, while also motivating member not to wait for verbal cues to initiate/excute a task. 

           a.  On slide 2, have members draw a dot on the meters of “How well did you sleep?” and “How much energy do you have?”.  Thank the member for sharing and reassure them that you will be mindful of this as you go through the day.  Then, have each member come up one by one and write two things they are thankful for in the PowerPoint. 

           b.  On slide 3, switch to a gym-related Social Script.  The example in the PowerPoint is “Why We Exercise”, which is a great place to start.  Consider using this for a week, and then switching to another self-created social script about different aspects of exercise. 

           c.  Return to the PowerPoint and go to sllide 4.  Stretch with the group.  Be the leader at the beginning, starting with stretches you know members will succeed with.  You may then want to switch it up a bit.  Perhaps you go around the room and each member leads a stretch.  Perhaps one day you just focus on neck and shoulders, or legs, etc.  Perhaps you utilize resistance bands and practice things like pointing and flexing toes, pushing and pulling the bands, or releasing a stretch really slowly.  Build on member’s growing competence in stretching and challenge them appropriately.  

           d.  Follow the gym checklist and make sure each member has what they need to head out.

      2.  Head off to the gym!

      3.  Update as needed.  This is not intended as much to be a one-size-fits-all routine, as to be a template for which to personalize to your own setting and to live and breathe as you see members develop new skills and/or show affinities for different exercises/activities. 


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