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 Lifestyle, 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. All LSPA courses are 1 credit. 

Graduate, VALOR, and Consortium Students - Do not register for LSPA ​Courses via GWeb or you will be charged the full tuition price. Please email [email protected] for information on registration at the significantly reduced rate.

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

Please Note: Credits for Lifestyle, Sport and Physical Activity (LSPA) courses are only recognized toward degree requirements for undergraduate students within Milken Institute SPH, CCAS and Elliot School. Students may be able to apply up to 3 credits of LSPA courses toward their program requirements. Click here for more information on CCAS's academic policies. Click here for more information on Elliot School's general bachelor requirements.


LSPA Course Descriptions

LSPA 1012 Dance Conditioning
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 1014 Meditation
This course is designed to introduce students to basic meditation techniques and principles.  .

LSPA 1016 Running
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 1019 Outdoor Adventure
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
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 Epee Fencing
In this course the student will develop and understand Epee Fencing skills, for recreation and competition. This class is for students who are new to epee 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. Fee: $25.00

LSPA 1023 Shaolin Kung Fu 
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 Shaolin system precisely incorporates elements from various Kung Fu systems creating just the right combination of fluidity, speed, and stopping power. 

LSPA 1029 Yoga
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 1031 Weight Training
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 1035 Rock Climbing
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 1039 Cardio Kickboxing
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
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
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 1043 Tai Chi
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 Self Defense 
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
Topics vary and amount of fee (if charged) is announced in Schedule of Classes.

LSPA 1048 Horseback Riding
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: $550.00

LSPA 1049 Boxing
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 1052 Cross Training
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 1055 Barre
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
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
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 1060 High Intensity Interval Training
This course is designed to train both the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems in addition to muscular strength, power, and endurance. Most workouts will consist of a series of body weight and/or free weight based exercises ranging from 5 seconds to 8 minutes long, followed by a period(s) of rest. HIIT will help students improve skill-related components of fitness, such as strength, speed, agility, balance, and flexibility.

LSPA 1061 Capoeira
This course is designed to teach Capoeira, which is an Afro-Brazilian martial art that encompasses elements of music, dance, acrobatics and martial techniques.  This course will consist of an introduction to Capoeira’s five basic movements, learning the etiquettes of the Jogo (game), overview of Capoeira’s instruments and songs (Brazilian Portuguese), and various interactive events with local Capoeira groups. Capoeira is very physical and will help the student develop flexibility, strength, rhythm, and confidence.

LSPA 1063 Les Mills Body Pump
This course is designed to offer the strength training workout known as Les Mills BODYPUMP.  This barbell strength training class sculpts, tones, and strengthens the entire body. BODYPUMP was created in 1991 by Phillip Mills in Auckland, New Zealand, and is developed and administrated by Les Mills International.  It focuses on low weight loads and high repetition movements challenging all of the major muscle groups while doing squats, presses, lifts and curls – generating the “rep effect” where more calories are burned, more meaningful fat loss is achieved and muscle strength without bulk is attained.  BODYPUMP classes contain eight separate muscle group-specific songs or "tracks” and are choreographed to sync the workout with music.

LSPA 1065 Introduction to Therapeutic Massage
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 $14.00

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