Skip to content

Physical Fitness: The Road to a Long, Healthy and Productive Life

Many children from poverty come from an environment where it’s not safe to go outside and play. Without being physically active, these children may find themselves less engaged during the school day and unable to participate in physical activities.

“Kids who are fit [often] perform better academically,” said Gary Willhide, an exercise physiologist and certified personal trainer at Milton Hershey School. “They’re more alert and socially feel better about themselves. They have more self confidence.”

At Milton Hershey School, all students have access to physical fitness opportunities that enhance their mental and physical well-being. Students can visit fitness rooms with cardio and strength training equipment, or exercise in the free weight room.

Through after-school activities, they also have the opportunity to learn about core strengthening, complete bodyweight exercises, and more. Many MHS students participate in both competitive and intramural athletics, which keeps them physically fit while teaching important lessons about teamwork and determination.

“Fitness is for all of us,” said Willhide. “We want to look at living a long, healthy and productive life. You really can’t do that without being physically well.”

MHS places a strong emphasis on physically active lifestyles, so all students can maintain proper health throughout their lives—and fully engage in every activity across the MHS campus without limitations.

To stay physically active throughout the day, Willhide suggests some of the following activities:

  • Walk instead of driving when possible.
  • Use steps instead of elevators.
  • Play tag or other outdoor games that appeal to kids.
  • Visit a playground.

Watch our short video to learn more about the impact physical fitness has on MHS students:

Video Poster


Milton Hershey School does not discriminate in admissions or other programs and services on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, religious creed or disability. Read important MHS policies on equal opportunity and diversity, equal employment opportunity, and more.