Using Heart Rate Technology to Guide Instruction
Last month, a student approached me and stated, “mister, I don’t think mine is working. I am walking and I am in the yellow.” This caused me to believe that this student, and probably many other students, believe that the only way to get a good workout is to engage in high intensity and/or vigorous activities. After having a brief conversation with this student, I sat my class down and informed them that walking, along with other low impact activities, are called moderate activities and are very beneficial to their health. They are also great lifetime activities that individuals of any age can engage in.
This conversation I had with this student led me to think, “why am I having my students wear heart rate monitors?” This was a good point for me. First off, I want my students to understand basic fitness principles that can give them information on their current fitness levels such as resting heart rate and recovery heart rate. Secondly, I want students to understand how different types of activities can get them in different types of heart rate zones. I want students to understand that activities that do not get them in a high heart rate, such was weight training and walking, are still very beneficial to their health.
Students need to understand the importance of Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity (MVPA), and the positive impact it can have on their health as they get older. SHAPE America recommends that students are active at the MVPA level at least 50% of class time. With heart rate monitors, students are able to immediately see if they are meeting that goal. On another note, it helps me as the teacher see if I am providing my students with enough opportunity to be moving at the MVPA level for at least half of class. Heart rate monitors can help guide your instruction and lesson planning, and it truly is a great motivational tool for students. Most importantly, students get to be independent learners and get to adjust their intensity levels at their choosing during class. Some students can work out at the moderate level during class while some can choose to work out at the vigorous level during class. This is a great way to differentiate for all students. Either way, all students are getting great health benefits!