Research Correlates Exercise at an Elevated Heart Rate to Benefits that Include Improved Cognitive Performance
IHT designed the Spirit System to focus students on minutes of exercise at an elevated heart rate because academic research shows conclusively that exercise at an elevated heart rate correlates to increased longevity, improved cognitive performance, and self-regulation and classroom functioning among children.
There are different philosophies about the key fitness metrics in evaluating fitness activities such as step counts, time to run a given distance, calories burned, and minutes of elevated heart rate. Our philosophy of focusing on minutes of elevated heart rate aligns with the Center for Disease Control’s 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans1 standards which recommend:
- “children and adolescents aged 6 to 17 years should have 60 minutes (1 hour) or more of physical activity each day” and
- “most of the 60 or more minutes a day should be either moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity and should include vigorous-intensity physical activity at least 3 days a week.”