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Name of Activity:

Heart Rate Monitor 1K

Purpose of Activity:

Students will practice moving at an appropriate pace to maintain a target heart rate.


Students must be able to read the heart rate monitor.

Organization: Groups of 2

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

Heart rate monitors (a stop watch can be used if heart rate monitors are not available) for each group, a 1 kilometer or 100 yard track, and a clipboard with sheet numbered 1-13 and pencil for each group.

Description of Idea

One partner has a heart rate monitor on and the other partner is the coach. The gym is measured out for a 1K course. In my gym this is thirteen laps. The students are told that we are running a 1K today and the winner will be determined by who stays in their target zone the longest. The coach leads their runner through a series of warm-up activities and also has a sheet of paper with numbers 1 - 13 on it.

The coach tells their runner when to start and the race is on. The kids who are the coaches will cheer for their runners to stay in their target heart zones. After each lap, the coach marks off one number on their sheet. If stop watches are used instead of heart rate monitors, the runner must take their pulse at this time. The coach records the pulse. At the end of the race the coach walks with their runner to cool down and leads them through some stretching exercises. After the cool down period, the coach has their runner scroll through their monitor and writes down how much time their runner spent above, in, and below their target heart zone. When all the runners are finished, everyone gathers in the middle of the gym and we find out who stayed in his or her target zone the longest. There is a lot of cheering and prizes are given out to the first - third place finishers. When the winners come up to receive their prizes they are asked what kind of job their coach did. If they respond in a positive manner, the coach also gets a prize. The next day in class the roles are reversed and the coach becomes the runner.


Use different distances or more or fewer laps.

With longer class times, both the coach and runner can go on the same day. However, the coaches can be encouraged to pace the runner and will be very active during this lesson.

Students with walkers or wheel chairs, or most other physically challenged students can exercise in their target heart zone as well.

Assessment Ideas:

Set up a scale for time maintaining target heart rate. 50% of the time is 1 point, 60% of the time at target is 2 points, 70% of the time is 3 points, 75% of time is 4 points, 80% of time is 5 points, 85% of the time is 7 points, 90% of the time is 8 points, and over 95% of the time at target heart rate is worth 10 points.

Submitted by Crystal Gorwitz who teaches at Hortonville Middle School in Hortonville, WI. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 8/29/2001.
Viewed 46905 times since 8/24/2001.

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Heart Rate Monitor 1K

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Let others know how this idea went when you implemented/tried it with your kids. Include any variations, suggested teaching tips, positive comments, etc. so others can benefit from your tips. Please be helpful and positive with all comments. Look below to see all posted comments.



Previous Comments:

Jill Pickus

I do this activity with my power walking class. I put the students in teams of 3 or 4. They are all wearing heart rate monitors. At the end of the period the student in the group with the highest heart rate in the target heart rate zone for the most amount of time records the time spent in the zone and their average heart rate. The team with the highest heart rate in the zone for the most amount of time wins. I provide them with hand weights so that they can increase exercise intensity if walking does not get their heart rates up high enough. My only rule is that the team must stay at the same pace. This way if someone cannot get their heart rate up because the pace isn't intense enough for them, they must use another means of increasing intensity by using the hand weights. In the closure we discuss different ways to increase intensity (ie. walking on sand, or hiking up a hill).

Lacy Frost

How much time should be spent on teaching the students how to use the heart rate monitors and the benefits of staying in your target heart rate level?

Alberto Diaz

Thanks, for all the great ideas, but how do you do most of these activities if you have 240 students per grade level. I have 2 aides and 240 students at one time.

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