Students Use Heart Rate Data to Sharpen Individual Skills; Reports Enable Teachers to Design Effective Lessons
Personalized feedback provided by PE heart rate training technology drives students to meet daily goals and enables teachers to develop lessons that motivate students to succeed.
Students wearing the IHT Zone wrist heart rate monitors during their PE class workouts have learned to exercise in the target heart rate zone. The heart rate monitors, working in tandem with the IHT Spirit System assessment software, help students learn that essential skill by:
Showing students their actual heart rate throughout a class session;
- Showing students which heart rate zone they are exercising in; and
- Delivering a detailed workout summary to the student (and parent) via email immediately after the workout.
The system benefits students of all ages. Older students who understand their actual heart rate can manage their effort level by knowing that number during the workout. Younger students can focus on exercising in that day’s target heart rate zone by watching their IHT Zone HRM change colors: blue indicates resting heart rate zone; yellow indicates the heart is working at a moderate level; red indicates the hardest-working heart rate zone. Most PE workouts encourage students to exercise in the yellow or red zones.
Personalized Heart Rate Data Helps Train Students and Teachers
Students embrace the data because it focuses solely on them.
“It showed me what I needed to do to get that intensity,” said Justin Lehmkuhler, who studied his heart rate data while attending Woodford County (Kent.) Middle School. “It showed me how much I actually have to work to get into that zone. I can’t just take it light and train light if I want to improve.”
The heart rate reports, both individual student reports and combined class summaries, help teachers gauge the effectiveness of their individual lessons. They receive tangible data about which activities work best for each student or class.
“That was great feedback for our students and it was also great for the PE teachers,” said Rick Carr, Lehmkuhler’s PE teacher. “You have your opinions about the activities in PE. You think you can’t play badminton because it doesn’t get your heart rate up enough, but we got some tremendous heart rate feedback from badminton. That kind of justified it to our program and [encouraged us] to not abandon the sports and the games for all fitness, fitness, fitness.”
Teaching Essential Heart Rate Training Fitness Skills
While teachers keep classes varied by mixing in games that motivate students to exercise in a heart rate zone, many are developing more lessons around fitness skills such as high-intensity interval training and other circuit-type workouts. Students must develop these skills intrinsically.
“Kids today don’t know what it’s like to [work out] between 80 and 90 percent [of your target heart rate],” said Australian PE teacher Shane Stubbs. “No one has ever taught them. But we’re teaching them.”
The first step, Stubbs says, is getting students familiar with what their heart rate monitors show them. A second crucial step is showing the students the data and helping them understand what it means to individuals of different fitness levels.
“It was really cool to see the kids who were lower fitness level [kids] realize that they didn’t have to work as hard to get into that zone,” said Fort Lupton (Colo.) Middle School health teacher Lindsay Yost. “By them realizing that they didn’t have to work quite as hard, they realized they could sustain and do the activity for a longer period of time than they normally would have.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that adolescents get at least 60 minutes of exercise every day with the majority of those minutes spent exercising at an elevated heart rate. The sooner they master what the IHT Zone HRMs and Spirit System heart rate reports teach them, the easier it becomes to meet that health standard.
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