Lifetime Physical Activity Program

The Lifetime Physical Activity (LPA) program offers for-credit classes each semester. Please find key information about the program below.

The primary aims of the Lifetime Physical Activity (LPA) Program at the University of Virginia are to teach basic skills, enhance knowledge about sport, exercise, and other forms of physical activity, and to develop immediate and lifelong benefits and enjoyment of regular physical activity. To that end, we offer approximately 40 one-credit classes each semester for enrolled undergraduate and graduate students. Our classes are taught by qualified instructors, primarily graduate students. Our “home base” is Memorial Gym, where most classes take place and our main office is located. Classes focus on skill instruction, knowledge of rules and etiquette, and strategy for effective play. Classes range from mindfulness and yoga to weight training and cross training to soccer and badminton. There is something for everyone on our schedule!

A Bit About Our Program

Students take LPA classes for a variety of reasons: as a way to work exercise into their schedule, to learn a new activity, or to have some competitive fun while learning additional skills in a sport or activity they have done before. Because classes are intended to build skills and focus on teamwork, all classes require regular attendance for successful completion. To learn more about policies and procedures for classes, please visit our frequently asked questions (FAQ) page.

Our schedule of classes varies some each semester, but most classes are offered during the fall and spring (there are no LPA classes during the summer). Classes can be found in SIS under KLPA. To search all classes offered for a given semester, go to the SIS homepage, select “class Search”, then in the top search box select your term. Then type “KLPA” in the course subject box, and select “less than or equal to” and add “2000” to the adjacent box. If you uncheck the “show open classes only” box, you will be able to see the full listing of KLPA courses offered that semester.

You can find a complete listing and description of all classes currently or occasionally offered by checking out the 'Course Descriptions' link on the left side of this page.

What Can I Expect from My LPA Class?

Academic Credit

The LPA program differs from other opportunities for being physically active at UVA in that taking a class can earn you one academic credit. Classes can ONLY be taken on a Credit/No Credit basis, so they cannot impact your GPA. In the college of Arts & Sciences, two credits can be used toward graduation. Each school has slightly different policies, so please check with your home school for academic policies and procedures. Check our list of frequently asked questions for other issues regarding the program.

Instruction and Feedback

Most instructors in the LPA program are grad students at UVA (keep reading below for more information), although a few are community members and/or have an advanced degree in their discipline. Instructors are hired through a competitive process, and receive training to insure quality instruction. All classes focus on skill development, learning rules and strategies for the activity, and require active participation by student members. These classes are not intended to simply be time for free play; although a principle goal is for students to have fun, we do this by helping students gain confidence in their abilities and allowing students to learn new skills or improve existing skills. All skill levels are welcome, though many of our classes are designed for those new to the sport or activity.

Opportunities to Learn Life-long Skills

Our number one goal is to share with students our passion for a healthy lifestyle. An important part of this is maintaining a physically active status throughout our lives. Unfortunately, some students graduate from college never having learned how to motivate themselves to be physically active; as a result, statistics show that young adults often see a decrease in their activity levels after college. We encourage you to learn new skills and the “how’s” and “why’s” of activities like tennis, golf, volleyball, yoga, or weight training, so you can be ready to continue your active lifestyle once you leave the “friendly confines” of UVA.

Opportunities for Graduate Students in the LPA Program

  1. Teaching: We highly encourage graduate students in the School of Education and Human Development and elsewhere in the University, to apply to teach in the LPA program. This is a unique opportunity to teach your own class - get your own student evaluations for future job-seeking, polish your skills (and share them with others!), earn some extra cash (currently paying $1500/class/semester) and sneak some activity in for your busy self! See below our top ten reasons to teach in the LPA program...We hire instructors each semester using the “Careers at UVA” website, listed under 'faculty job openings'.

  2. Research: Each semester, over 700 students take LPA classes. Other graduate students have utilized this ready pool of potential research subjects - why not you? After you have your IRB approval, fill out the approval to solicit research participants and submit this to Dr. Whaley. You must be able to explain your study purposes in layperson terms. Our LPA students represent a diverse University sample, coming from all colleges and class years, including graduate students.

3. Health & Well-Being: Research indicates that 30 minutes of physical activity lowers stress and anxiety and increases attention and productivity. Think you don't have time to stay active during graduate school? Think again - you can schedule 90 minutes of activity per week into your life by taking a class or teaching one!

Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Teach!

  1. Polish your teaching skills
  2. Collect student evaluations for a class you taught
  3. Gain teaching experience for your CV or resume
  4. Earn some extra cash
  5. Relieve some stress from graduate studies
  6. Schedule activity/exercise into your busy schedule
  7. Make new friends in different disciplines
  8. Improve your skills (nothing improves skills like teaching or coaching does!)
  9. Get skilled supervision and feedback on your teaching
  10. Learn leadership skills working with “real” students!