Nov. 17, 2016IDEA

Last spring, IDEA Public Schools partnered with IHT to use our Spirit System and new IHT Zone wrist heart rate monitors to assess and improve student health.

For at least one student at IDEA’s San Juan College Prep campus, the new technology came at the perfect time. ValleyCentral 4, the local CBS affiliate, featured the school’s use of the Spirit System in a story by Patrick Chalvrie about high rates of obesity and diabetes in the Rio Grande Valley.

IDEA College Prep creates new physical education program to combat childhood obesity


It’s well known that obesity and diabetes cases are high in the valley. A big way to help lower those numbers is getting young children involved in a healthy lifestyle early on. One valley school is doing just that and its already helping save lives.

A year ago, seventh-grader Mariel Lugo weighed 240 pounds and was pre-diabetic.

Her uncle began to train her every day, around the same time IDEA College Prep San Juan implemented a new physical education program.

“We decided to go with a non-traditional sport aspect, just go get everyone a fair chance at playing and with that came the exercise,” said PE Teacher Erny Gutierrez.

With the routine similar to CrossFit, the school brought in Interactive Health Technologies Spirit. IHT introduces grade schools students to the tools and resources to a healthier lifestyle.

A computer monitors a student’s progress, allowing teachers to efficiently track each of the students’ performance in PE class.

“They begin to see it themselves and they no longer need the motivation. They understand like, ‘Wow. I am doing something and it is working and in the long run I’m gonna benefit from this,” said PE Teacher Luis Guardiola.

More than 3,000 children in the Valley are classified as Type 2 diabetic, according to the South Texas Juvenile Diabetes Association. More than 1,700 are classified as Type 1.