With a Nov. 7 deadline on the horizon, teachers searching for funding to purchase heart rate technology have time to apply for a $4,000 grant from the NFL’s Fuel Up to Play 60 program.
Fuel Up To Play 60 (FUTP60) grants provide teachers with funding to implement programs designed to improve their fitness and nutrition. The grants require that funding is spent evenly on each, and applications must demonstrate specifics how students will learn nutritional and fitness skills.
With special Fuel Up to Play 60 packs that cost just $2,000, teachers can utilize the IHT Spirit System to satisfy the grant’s fitness requirement. IHT’s FUTP60 pack includes:
- 10 IHT ZONE wrist heart rate monitors
- 1 IHT Spirit Classroom Reader
- IHT ZONE charging and storage case
- IHT Spirit System software license
Adding Essential Fitness Tools to PE Programs
Teachers who have used IHT’s heart rate monitors and assessment software with their programs compare their impact to a classroom teacher using the most up-to-date textbooks.
“Simply put, these heart rate monitors are the physical education department’s textbooks,” said Brian Rhoads, the K-12 PE Curriculum Leader for West Des Moines (Iowa) Community Schools. “This is what we need to do to help students be healthy and fit for life. If we don’t provide the necessary tools, we are doing the students a disservice.”
Students as young as elementary school use the monitors in PE class to begin developing healthy fitness habits. While they might not understand what their actual heart rate – easily displayed on their wrist – means, they do understand if they are exercising at an appropriate intensity level. Students see a color – blue for light, yellow for moderate, red for vigorous – that correlates their activity level to a target heart rate zone. Students begin to understand how hard they need to work to get their heart rate into the yellow or red zones and keep it there for a set period of time.
“It takes heart rate from just a number to giving them the correlation to the amount of energy they are putting out,” explained Klem North (New York) Elementary School PE teacher Matt Carpenter. “They understand the correlation between activity and heart rate.”
In third grade, Carpenter and colleague Sarah Harding begin teaching students how to calculate their actual heart rate and reinforcing those lessons – and their meaning – with what students see on their wrists.
Creating ‘Physically Educated Kids’
“We want the kids to walk away from our program as physically educated kids,” Harding said.
Part of that education includes introducing students to fitness technology they’ll have access to as adults. Fort Lupton (Colo.) Middle School teacher Lindsay Yost ran track throughout her high school and college days and didn’t learn about heart rate, how she could use to maximize a workout or even how to calculate it until she was in college. She uses the IHT ZONE with her students and makes sure they understand how to gauge each workout by their heart rate.
“The kids having this technology so young is very exciting,” she said. “They’ll be able to take that knowledge and use it as an adult.”
Even with her athletic background, Yost uses her own heart rate monitor whenever she exercises. She sees that as a fitness tool her students must master if they’re going to keep fitness as a priority throughout their lives.
“Lifetime fitness is the foundation that they need to strive for,” she said. “Whether they are trying to run a 5K or cycling or doing triathlons or playing a pickup basketball game, whatever it may be, as an adult, having the knowledge and the desire to know how a heart rate monitor works will be a huge skill set that they can carry on with them.”