Lifestyle, Sport and Physical Activity Courses (LSPA)

Rock climbing, swimming, yoga, anyone? The Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences offers a range of sports and activity classes that give GW students a chance to learn a new activity or to improve their skill level while having a memorable experience with classmates.

These courses fall under the Life, Sport and Physical Activity (LSPA) designation in the university's course listings, are designed to be safe and appropriate for students of all skills levels.

Check the University's Schedule of Classes for the latest offerings.

Please Note: Credits for Lifestyle, Sport and Physical Activity (LSPA) courses are not recognized toward degree requirements for any Milken Institute SPH program.



LSPA Course Descriptions

LSPA 1011 Hiking (1 credit)
In this course the student will be introduced to hiking as an element of outdoor education, environmental education, and basic wilderness travel, incorporating elements of outdoor leadership in the DC Metro area parks and surrounding regions.

LSPA 1012 Dance Conditioning (1 credit)
This course uses a variety of dance techniques to develop and improve strength, endurance, flexibility and coordination. Workouts will include the use of barres, floor mats, and movement across the floor.

LSPA 1013 Latin Dance conditioning (1 credit)
This course blends movement with discussion of the folkloric history of Afro-Brazilian/Cuban cultural dance. This class concentrates on building strength, flexibility, and the ability to undulate the torso and hips fully and rapidly. Students are taught the unique rhythms of Mambo, Rumba, Salsa and Samba.

LSPA 1014 Meditation (1 credit)
This course is designed to introduce students to basic meditation techniques and principles.  .

LSPA 1016 Running (1 credit)
This class will explore the training methods and skills of running.  No prior experience or training is necessary.  We will use a variety of local routes, terrain, and techniques to improve cardiovascular fitness, as well as running form and speed.

LSPA 1017 Walking (1 credit)
This course is designed to develop and improve fitness through walking.  Students will engage in this low-impact form of exercise and will aim to increase their daily step count throughout the term. Students will learn pedestrian safety, proper shoe selection, injury prevention, and the health benefits of walking.

LSPA 1018 Trail running (1 credit)
The course is designed for the student looking to develop and maintain fitness through running.  The group will explore the trail system of the Washington, D.C. metro area.  They will also receive guidance related to safety, proper stride technique and trail running gear. 

LSPA 1019 Outdoor Adventure (1 credit)
The course is designed to introduce students to the various outdoor adventure activities within and near the city. Adventures may include: Roosevelt Island Hike, Rock Creek Park Hike, Biking, Gardening with Food Justice Alliance and Paddling on the Potomac.   Additionally, each student must then complete 16 hours of personal outings on their own.

LSPA 1020 Beginning/Intermediate Golf (1 credit)
The student will have the opportunity to develop basic golf skills through lectures, demonstrations, drills and game play.  The student will also gain knowledge of golf etiquette and other areas as related to the game of golf. Fee: $110.00.

LSPA 1021 Foil fencing (1 credit)
In this course the student will develop and understand Foil Fencing skills for recreation and competition. This class is for students who are new to foil fencing or are looking to reenter the sport. Students will be introduced to the many components of fencing including footwork, right of way, bladework, bouting, refereeing and competition formats.  By the end of this program, students should have a strong understanding of the fundamentals of fencing including competitive bouting and refereeing.

LSPA 1022 Basketball (1 credit)
In this course students will learn the basic principles and skills of basketball through drills and practice play.  Emphasis will be placed on fundamentals, philosophies of team play, etiquette, and offensive and defensive strategies. 

LSPA 1023 Jow Ga Kung Fu I (1 credit)
Students in this course students learn one of the most famous styles of kung fu practiced around the world to improve health, self-defense and well-being.  The Jow Ga Kung Fu system precisely incorporates elements from three Kung Fu systems (Hung Ga, Choy Ga, Bak Siu Lum), creating just the right combination of fluidity, speed, and stopping power. In the Level 1 course students will learn basic stances, hand and leg techniques. 

LSPA 1023 Jow Ga Kung Fu II (1 credit)
In the second level of this class of the Jow Ga system of Kung Fu, the student can expect to delve deeper into this particular style of martial arts. The student will learn higher level forms of the system. They will also be exposed to more advanced techniques and will begin their introduction to weapons training.

LSPA 1024 Volleyball (1 credit)
This course is designed to introduce to the student the basics of volleyball including skills, rules, and team offensive and defensive strategies.

LSPA 1025 Thai Massage (1 credit)
This course will provide an overview of Thai Yoga Massage as practiced in the temples of Thailand many centuries ago.  This ancient therapy is based on yoga, Ayurveda, and the martial arts.

LSPA 1026 Karate (1 credit)
This course is designed to introduce students to the art of karate.  The class will cover basic karate techniques, a pre-arranged form (kata), and basic fighting drills, as well as proper etiquette and attitude for practicing martial arts. The aim of this class is to develop discipline, courage, and humility in order to improve character and quality of life, while learning basic karate techniques.

LSPA 1027 Tennis (1 credit)
In this course the student will learn the game of tennis from basic strokes and terminology to advanced match play strategy. The student will progress from conducting group drills, breaking down forehands, backhands, and volleys, making it possible for students to rally and construct points. By the end of the semester matches are played and students learn to choose strategies based on strengths and weaknesses.

LSPA 1029 Yoga (1 credit)
This course is designed to introduce the beginning student to yoga, and allow continuing students to progress and improve their strength, flexibility, and balance.  Basic poses will be taught as well as some breathing techniques, deep relaxation, and meditation practices.  The student will learn how to apply techniques taught in class to help manage their stress.

LSPA 1030 Fitness (1 credit)
Activities vary and are specified in the Schedule of Classes. 

LSPA 1031 Conditioning with Weights (1 credit)
The Beginner level of this course is intended to help students develop self-confidence in a weight room setting.  The student will learn and practice resistance training to improve their strength, power, and muscular endurance. Students will learn the purpose and function of equipment, proper form and how to develop a weight training program to meet their fitness goals. The Intermediate/Advanced level of this course is designed to broaden the knowledge base of the student who has experience lifting weights.

LSPA 1033 Swimming (1 credit)
The Beginner level of this course is designed for students who either have little or no experience with swimming but would like to learn, or who know a little and would like to improve their skills. The student will learn the basics of the freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly stroke.  Students registering for this course must already be comfortable putting their head under water.  The Fitness/Advanced level is designed to build on the student’s existing training and knowledge of swimming.  At this level student will advance their knowledge of the four stroke to improve their swimming endurance. The student registering for this course should already be able to swim at minimum four lengths without stopping and should have working knowledge of the four strokes.

LSPA 1035 Rock Climbing (1 credit)
This introductory level indoor climbing course covers fundamental topics in order for the student to become a safe and knowledgeable climber. Students will learn the safety systems of belaying, basic knot tying, and basic climbing movement, as well as the skills necessary to climb independently. This course meets at the Sportrock Climbing Center in Alexandria VA. Fee: $300.00

LSPA 1036 Triathlon (1 credit)
This course is designed for the student who is new to the triathlon event. Through group and one-on-one instruction, the student will first learn the basics of putting together an event that includes swimming, cycling and running.  Some experience with these activities is necessary.  Previous experience with competition is not required.

LSPA 1037 Indoor Soccer (1 credit)
This course is designed to develop indoor soccer skills.  Instruction will include basic concepts, rules and skills of the game. Emphasis will be placed on effort and improvement. The student will practice skills in games and learn technical and tactical aspects of the game.

LSPA 1038 Racquetball (1 credit)
This course is designed to teach the student the basic rules and skills of racquetball.  The strategies involved in playing the game are also taught and practiced. 

LSPA 1039 Cardio Kickboxing (1 credit)
This class is designed to improve the health and fitness of the student through a cardio kickboxing workout based on boxing and martial arts movement. Students will improve their endurance, balance, flexibility and strength.

LSPA 1040 Self-Defense and Personal Safety (1 credit)
In this course students will develop an understanding of assault and the wide range of options available to them for self-defense.  Drills of verbal assertiveness, concentration/relaxation, and physical defense are also taught.  Also covered are concepts of alignment, balance, and the mechanics of generating force.

LSPA 1041 Mat Pilates (1 credit)
This course is designed to strengthen and tone all of the body's core muscles through targeted exercises.  This class will challenge the student to focus on specific muscle groups, and with practice, will soon build tremendous core strength. Strong core muscles support the spine, reduce back pain, and are an integral component of athletic performance as well as every day balance.

LSPA 1042 Cardio Conditioning (1 credit)
This class is designed to develop and improve cardiovascular endurance through a variety of aerobic activities.

LSPA 1043 Tai Chi (1 credit)
This course will introduce the student to the basic principles of the Chinese internal martial art of t’ai chi chuan, which uses physical movement, energy awareness and mental concentration for fun, relaxation, and to improve health.  The first third of the form (17 postures) is taught and is the essence of t’ai chi practice.  The repetition and refinement of movement allows for the integration of principles into the body and into daily life.

LSPA 1044 Aikido (1 credit)
This course is designed to teach the student about the Japanese art of self-defense known as Aikido, employing locks and holds and utilizing the principle of nonresistance to cause an opponent's own momentum to work against him.  The focus is not on punching or kicking opponents, but rather on using one’s own energy to gain control of the opponent or to throw them away from one’s body.

LSPA 1045 Experimental Activities (1 credit)
Topics vary and amount of fee (if charged) is announced in Schedule of Classes.

LSPA 1046 Taekwondo (1 credit)
The course is designed to provide instruction in the fundamental techniques and training regimen of the martial art of taekwondo.  The student will learn basic footwork, kicks, stances, blocks, and strikes of taekwondo. As well as etiquette, terminology, and training philosophy surrounding taekwondo practice.

LSPA 1048 Horseback Riding (1 credit)
The purpose of this class is to teach the beginner, intermediate, and/ or advanced level student in the theory and practice of horseback riding. Fee: $450.

LSPA 1049 Boxing (1 credit)
This course is designed to develop muscular strength, agility, and cardiovascular fitness using boxing skills and techniques.  In addition to jumping rope, shadow boxing, and sparring, students will practice different punching and kicking combinations in pairs.

LSPA 1050 Backpacking (1 credit)
This course is designed as an experiential introduction to backpacking as an element of outdoor and environmental education, and basic wilderness travel, incorporating elements of outdoor leadership in the DC Metro area parks and surrounding regions.

LSPA 1052 Cross Training (1 credit) *New
This course is designed to teach and apply the principles of lifetime physical fitness, utilizing the five major components of cardio-respiratory endurance, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility and body composition. A variety of health and wellness issues will be addressed. The components of fitness will be improved through structured and individually paced aerobic activities as well as strength and flexibility conditioning exercises.

LSPA 1053 Squash (1 credit)
This course will provide the student with clear understanding of how the game of squash is played. The student will learn all the basic strokes, grips, and movement patterns. Fee: $25.00.

LSPA 1054 Metabolic Effects (1 credit) *New
This course will emphasize both resistance and cardiovascular training.  The sessions follow a high intensity, rest-based interval training format. The goal of each session is to push the body outside of its comfort zone by coming close to anaerobic threshold, recovering, and engaging in exercise again.

LSPA 1055 Barre (1 credit) *New
This course is designed to lead the student through barre cardio and Garuda-barre movement repertoire. Instruction will focus on precision in movement and demonstrate that movement starts simply then moves into compound and complex patterns. The semester will begin with breaking down barre choreography and movement patters so that the student builds strength and competence at the barre. Barre cardio will revolve around the Lotte Berke method.

LSPA 1057 Zumba (1 credit) *New
This class is designed to take the student through a ZUMBA® workout.  The class is a Latin-inspired dance fitness class that uses Latin and international music and dance movements to create a dynamic, exciting, exhilarating, and effective cardio workout. 

LSPA 1059 Cycle (1 credit) * New
This course is intended to be a high intensity cardio class performed on stationary bikes and utilizes various training techniques and motivational strategies to simulate real cycling experiences. Students can adjust their own resistance and cadence so that beginners and experienced cyclists are challenged in the same class. 

LSPA 1056 Scuba Diving Certificate Course (2 credits)
This course is designed as a prep course for scuba diving certification.  The principles of scuba diving are taught in the classroom while diving skills are taught in the pool.  Fee: $150.00.

LSPA 1065 Introduction to Therapeutic Massage (2 credits)
This course is designed to teach the fundamentals Swedish massage. The students will learn basic techniques and strokes, draping, muscle anatomy, body mechanics and the holistic benefits of therapeutic touch. The physiological effects of stress on the body and how massage is used to address these effects are also covered. Fee $16.00

LSPA 1066 Sports Massage (2 credits)
This class introduces the student to the principles of sports massage, massage techniques and the musculoskeletal conditions that can benefit from it.  Course fee: $16

LSPA 1067 Group Fitness Instructor (2 credits)
This course is designed to teach the student the fundamentals of group exercise instruction in order to become a certified group exercise instructor.  Participants develop the skills and knowledge to teach a safe, enjoyable, and effective group exercise class.

LSPA 1068 Sport Clinics and Workshops (1 to 3 credits)
Topics of intensive study and skill development.  Any clinic/workshop fee, will be announced in the Schedule of Classes.

LSPA 1081 Kendo I (1 credit)
This course is designed to provide instruction in kendo, concentrating on partner practice with shinai (bamboo swords).

LSPA 1083 Iaido I (1 credit)
The course is designed to provide instruction in iaido, a martial art concerned with methods of drawing the Japanese sword.

LSPA 1102 Personal Trainer Preparation (2 credits)
This course is designed to develop the student’s knowledge base of exercise science, kinesiology and physiology as well as give the hands-on, practical experience necessary to prepare for the ACE Personal Trainer Certification Exam and become effective personal trainers.

LSPA 2001 Special Topics (1- 3) credits
Topics vary and amount of fee (if charged) is announced in Schedule of Classes.