Heart monitors put to use in school

This article submitted by Diane Dutcher on 10/15/96.

The Paynesville Middle School physical education students are running, jumping, doing push-ups, hop scotch, and flex arm hangs, then checking their heart rates. The health and physical education department is putting to use the heart rate monitors that were purchased this past year.

The students first learned in health class about health-related fitness. They looked at cardiovascular endurance as one component and learned how to find their target heart rate zone. They try to target between 154 and 175, which is 75 to 85 percent of their target heart rate. During physical education class, they snap on a fabric heart rate sensor and then strap on a watch and go to work. The work out is timed for about 20 minutes of actual activity.

The middle school is using a read-out monitor which tells the students how long they were in their target heart rate zone, how long they were below the zone, how long they were above their zone, and their average heart rate during the workout. The workouts have taken place in the ultimate frisbee and soccer units.

We were able to purchase five monitors for the middle school classes. We rotate the watches each time we have physical education. After they have used the monitor, students are more intuned to their body and how hard it is or isnít working. It seems that after using the monitor, they are able to tell how much harder they need to work when not wearing the watch.

Hopefully, the students will realize how important lifetime fitness is and design their own workouts. Wellness is important today in preventing many of the diseases we have to deal with as a society.

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