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Fitness Bars: A Total Body Workout for P.E. [Video]

Posted 1 week ago - by Gopher Community

A great way to introduce your students to fitness training is to get a fitness bar in their hands! Fitness bars, also referred to as aerobic body bars, take your class workout to the next level. They are great for building muscle definition and teaching better lifting technique. Add resistance to any movement and help acclimate your students to resistance training. We compiled exercises for a complete physical education class bar workout! In the video playlist above, you’ll find fitness bar exercises for upper body, lower body, core, balance, and flexibility/agility, with a total of 25 fitness exercises!

Fitness bars are available individually in 6 sizes and also in multiple pack options that are perfect for physical education. Receive free shipping on UltraFit™ Fitness Bars today by using the promo code VideoFreeShip at checkout!

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Upper Body

Fitness Bars are extremely versatile and offer a great upper body bar workout.

 

 

Lower Body

Balance the bar in a rack position or hold the bar for a variety of lower body exercises.

 

 

Core

Perform core exercises like V-Up Sit Ups or Balancing Rows.

 

 

Balance

Use Gopher's Fitness Bars to either add resistance to balancing exercises or help maintain balance during movements.

 

 

Flexibility/Agility

Increase flexibility by using the bar similar to stretching stick. Also, lay the bar on the floor to practice agility movements.

 

 

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Superhero PE Games to Get Students Moving [Video]

Posted 1 month ago - by Gopher Community

In honor of National Superhero Day (April 28), we have compiled 5 fun superhero-themed games that your students will love! These games use Rainbow Sets of equipment to distinguish different superhero teams. Every color represents a different superhero!

  • Red = Ironman
  • Orange = The Human Torch
  • Yellow = Wolverine
  • Green = The Incredible Hulk
  • Blue = Superman / Superwoman
  • Purple = Batman, The Phantom, or Psylocke (Batman doesn’t have any superpowers so his character might be difficult to use in these games)

 

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Superpower Shakedown

 

Similar to Everybody’s It Tag, students run around the gym trying to collect super powers (flags) from other students while protecting their own! We used Infinite Flag Belts to divide the players into 6 different superhero teams. Students will have a blast making up names for the new powers they acquire. The person with the largest arsenal of powers at the end of a designated time is the winner!

 

Super Power Pile-Up

 

Help! All of our superheroes have lost their powers! Place six hula hoops around the outside of the play area. Students must run around the gym, collect their super powers (ClassicCoat Balls) and return them to their base. Once a team has collected all of its super powers, they can steal powers from other teams. The team with the most super powers/balls at the end of a designated time is the winner!

 

Superhero Battle Royale

 

This game is a battle between all six superhero teams!  Players collect their colored superpowers (ClassicCoat Balls) scattered around the gym floor and work to score on the other team’s AllAround Jr. Goal - weakening them with every ball scored. The team with the least amount of balls in their team’s goal is the winner!

 

Superhero Revival

 

Teams designate a player to tag other superheroes with their team’s colored ClassicCoat Balls! If tagged with the ball, the player is drained of all of their powers and must go back to their base to revive. In order to revive, the player must perform 10 burpees to be allowed back into the game! Nobody is safe! Even taggers can still be tagged by other teams.

 

ACTION! Super Shielders

 

Students will love this unique superhero-themed game available only from Gopher. The goal of Super Shielders is to protect your city while the other team tries to knock over your team’s buildings. Superheroes will love the cape and shield that comes with the set. Add a unique twist to the game with archenemies that can tag anybody and make them perform an exercise before returning to the game. The first team to knock over their opponent’s buildings is the winner. This game includes activity instructions with even more game ideas and variations! Shop or learn more about Super Shielders!

 

Your students will have a blast saving the world with these fun superhero games for physical education!

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5 Unique Game Ideas with Block 'Em [Video]

Posted 1 month ago - by Gopher Community

In ACTION! Block ‘Em, students use foam blocks to build a 6 x 6 block tower while preventing the opposing team from knocking it over. Students love this fun twist to a knockdown-style game, but the best news is that these blocks can be used for so much more!

Check out 5 unique PE activity ideas to use with ACTION! Block ‘Em:

 

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Spelling Bee Block ‘Em:

 

The foam blocks can be used to spell out words in a team relay! Encourage students to come up with and spell out the most creative word or have each team spell out the same word in a timed relay. Correct spelling and legibility count!

 

Block ‘Em Breakdown:

 

Each team has 4 - 6 stacks of blocks on opposing ends of the play area. Teams must protect their stacks of blocks while trying to knock over the opposing team’s stacks.  The team to completely demolish the other team’s stacks first, wins!

 

Building Block ‘Em:

 

Instead of destroying towers, this game focuses on building them. Teams work together in a relay-style game to try and build the fastest pyramid. Students can be creative in how their pyramid is built! For a fun addition to the game, create a knockdown component. The first team to build its pyramid and knock it down is the winner! Students can either build a really tall and slim tower that’s riskier to build, but easier to knock over or a really sturdy structure that’s harder to knock down.

 

Block ‘Em Bowling:

 

Stack the foam blocks as a pyramid and have kids bowl to knock them all down. Blocks can also be scattered around the play area to be knocked over individually in a knockdown game!

 

ACTION! Block 'Em: 

 

In the classic game of ACTION! Block ‘Em, students try to build a 6 x 6 block wall while the other team tries to knock it over. Students can either work to build the wall, protect it, or knock down the other team’s wall. Every block that gets knocked over by the other team must be returned to the center play area. The first team to build their wall is the winner!

 

ACTION! Block ‘Em is an extremely versatile game and makes for a great addition to your physical education supplies. Each pack comes with activity instructions with even more game ideas and variations – check it out here!

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The PE Game Your Equipment Room Needs [Video]

Posted 1 month ago - by Gopher Community

As a physical educator, purchasing equipment that can be used for multiple activities and units is like hitting the jackpot! One of our favorite items that’s big on versatility is ToppleTubes. ToppleTubes are unique 2-color tubes with endless uses in physical education. They’re great for PE games and activities like stacking, relays, and knockdown, but their versatility also makes them a great addition for sport-skill units and fitness activities.

We’ve put together 10 game and activity ideas that will make ToppleTubes your favorite piece of equipment!

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Football Skills

ToppleTubes can be a great addition to any agility drill. Use them in your football unit for the 3-cone drill or quarterback movement drills. Practice juking by having students juke left if yellow is facing up and right if blue is facing up. Lastly, use ToppleTubes as catching boundaries or targets!

 

 

Basketball Skills

Use ToppleTubes during your basketball unit by having students dribble from tube to tube and flip them over to their team’s color. This activity is great for practicing control and maintaining space. 

 

 

 

Topple Balance

Place a ToppleTube on each end of a balance beam. Students must walk to one end, bend down, flip the ToppleTube over, and then repeat the same steps on the other side. Have students flip each ToppleTube over 5 times for ultimate practice!

 

 

ToppleTube Tip Over

Two teams each have a designated number of ToppleTubes that they must protect. Defenders try to defend their ToppleTube, while offenders try to knock over the other team’s ToppleTube. If an opponent knocks over a ToppleTube, he/she flips the tube over and possession changes. The team with the most ToppleTubes with their team’s color facing up at end of a designated time is the winner!

 

 

Indoor Baseball of Softball

Refine aim and control during indoor baseball or softball units by using ToppleTubes as targets for grounders! ToppleTubes can also be used for a variety of strength and conditioning exercises or activities for baseball or softball teams.

 

 

 

ToppleTube Cardio

Space the ToppleTubes around the gym for teams to compete against each other by flipping the ToppleTube over to their team’s color. Switch up the movement for a great warm-up activity!

 

 

 

Fitness Games & Activities

Instead of completing 10 reps of lunges or push-ups, have students alternate with a partner! Whenever they complete a rep, flip the ToppleTube over to their color. When the music stops, whoever’s color is facing up earns a point! Another fitness activity is to practice Russian Twists in a circle and use the ToppleTubes to pass around the circle.

 

 

Tennis Targets

ToppleTubes are great for tennis targets! Place the ToppleTubes a few feet in front of your students and have them aim to knock them over with the tennis ball. This will help your students to practice rallying and control.

 

 

 

ToppleTube Target Knockdown

Players aim to knock down their opponent’s ToppleTubes. If it is knocked over, the student must run over and flip the ToppleTube to their team’s color. The team with the most colors facing up, wins!

 

 

 

Building/Stacking Relay

 In a relay style game, students race to the other end of the gym to build a pyramid using all of their ToppleTubes. Once their pyramid is complete, they must use their three foam balls to knock down all of their ToppleTubes. The first team to knock all of them over, wins!

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5 Nutrition Games for Physical Education (Video)

Posted 1 month ago - by Gopher Community

Incorporate nutrition concepts and national physical education standards into your classes with these nutrition-based games! All games align with choose my plate guidlines.
 

 

 

NutriPlay™ Harvest Hustle™

Students work together to grab ingredients to complete their team’s shopping list! In a relay style, players run to the center of the gym and find the ingredient that they need. This game is great for introducing meal planning, choosing healthy ingredients, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The recipe cards also offer basic preparation instructions to introduce students to cooking. The included shopping list gives students a realistic shopping experience. The first team to complete its recipe, wins! To extend the game, see who can complete the most recipes. 

 

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NutriPlay™ Healthy in a Hurry™

Students will have so much fun strategizing and playing this game, they’ll have no idea they’re learning the difference between healthy and unhealthy food options. Players race to the other end of the gym and either select a healthy or unhealthy beanbag. Students must collect the healthy beanbags, while giving the unhealthy beanbags away to their opponents. Students must “burn off” the unhealthy food by performing a designated exercise. The team with the most healthy food beanbags at the end of the game is the winner! 

 

NutriPlay™ Nutringo™ Nutrition Bingo

This game makes bingo active and healthy! Teachers select a Nutringo™ card and read off the name of the food, a fun fact and the exercise activity. Students look at their board and if they are able to mark the spot off, they must perform the exercise first! The first team to get Nutringo™ is the winner. Since students stay by their Nutringo™ mat to perform the exercises, this game is great for any space! 

 

NutriPlay™ Food-Tag Frenzy

It’s a race to fill your team’s plate in this fun, action-filled nutrition game! Team’s scramble to gather food beans bags and place them in the proper food group on the large MyPlate mats. Watch out for junk food taggers! If they tag you, you must perform an exercise until a healthy food tagger frees you. The team with the most balanced diet at the end of the game, wins! 

 

NutriPlay™ HealthySpots™

These versatile, healthy spots are great for teaching food groups and can be incorporated into any nutrition game! Food groups are organized by rainbow colors and the food items are molded in to the HealthySpot™. Use these spots for relays, strategy, or bombardment games. Take your favorite go-to game and add a nutrition twist! 

Check out more active and educational Nutrition Games for PE!

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Tips for Choosing the Perfect Coated-Foam Ball for PE Activities

Posted 1 month ago - by Gopher Community

Choosing the perfect size coated-foam ball for your class can be a little overwhelming. It can be difficult selecting the right ball without the ability to pick it up and feel how small or large it is in your hands. Gopher put together a size comparison guide with videos to help you determine which ball is the best fit for your needs. The activities below are just a few ideas to get you started. There are a ton of different ways to use coated-foam balls – be creative! If you have a unique idea, please share it in the comment section.

2.75” Diameter Ball

 

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Specs: Circumference = 8.64”, 21.95 cm
Size Comparison = Baseball (2.86” Dia.), Tennis Ball (2.7”)

This ball is the perfect ball for throwing, catching and hitting! Gopher’s ClassicCoat™ Bounce™ can be used for racket sports, floor hockey, golf, cricket and lacrosse. They are also the perfect size to practice juggling. These smaller balls take up very little storage space, but can have a large impact on your class!

 

3.5” Diameter Ball

 

Specs: Circumference = 11”, 27.94 cm
Size Comparison = Softball (3.8” Dia.)

The 3.5” diameter ball is equivalent to the size of a softball. Students can practice hitting and catching with more success. This is also a great size for introductory tennis and pickle ball. Practice target throwing and add them to knockdown games for more fun!

 

5” Diameter Ball

 

Specs: Circumference = 15.71”, 39.90 cm
Size Comparison = Gym Ball (12” – 16” Dia.)

Equivalent to the size of a gym ball, this 5” diameter ClassicCoat™ ball is a great size for softball training. Bring your shot put indoors with a similar diameter ball that won’t damage your gym floor. Lastly, supplement your Spikeball™ unit or sets with an introductory version using a DuraHoop™ Flat Hula Hoop and a 5” diameter ClassicCoat™ Versa™ ball.

 

6.3” Diameter Ball

 

Specs: Circumference = 19.79”, 50.27 cm
Size Comparison = Handball Junior Size (6.3” – 6.5” Dia)

The 6.3” diameter ball can be used for a variety of games and activities. Easier to grip for elementary students, this ball can be great for handball and knockdown games.

 

7” Diameter Ball

 

Specs: Circumference = 22”, 55.88 cm
Size Comparison = Soccer Ball (Size 3), Handball (Men’s)

Slightly larger than our 6.3” dia ball, this ball is more comfortable to throw for secondary students. Play handball, knockdown, and target games with the 7” dia ball.

 

8.25” Diameter Ball

 

Specs: Circumference = 25.92”, 65.84 cm
Size Comparison = Volleyball, Soccer Ball (Size 4), Official Adult Dodgeball Size

The 8.25” diameter coated-foam ball is extremely versatile. Use this ball for volleyball, bowling, soccer, kickball, four square and table ball. Shoot, spike, kick and roll this ball with ease. Increase confidence in soccer and volleyball with a less intimidating ball. 

 

10” Diameter Ball

 

Specs: Circumference = 31.42”, 79.81 cm
Size Comparison = Official Size Basketball

Our largest coated-foam ball is equivalent to an official size basketball. Great for teaching beginning basketball, soccer and volleyball skills. Add this ball to other activities to add a variety of rolling, throwing and blocking fun!

 

We’d love to hear from you! Please comment below if you have any recommendations of your own! 

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Screamin' Phys Ed Games Your Students Will Love

Posted 2 months ago - by Gopher Community

Team gym games are meant to be fun, active and a little out of control. We used Gopher’s Screamin’ activity balls, hoops, cones, and bowling sets to put together a list of phys ed games to play inside that are sure to make your kids scream with excitement! 

Pass, Protect and Score!

 

This fun PE game will have your students screamin' with excitment. Split students up into three teams. Students are assigned to be either a thrower, blocker (3 students) or receiver (3 students). Receivers hold a hula hoop above their head and are limited to a designated area. In order to score for their team, throwers must throw their team’s colored ball to score in their colored hoop. Blockers attempt to block the other team’s ball from scoring. The first team to score all of their colored balls is the winner. For a larger class, play on both ends of the gym!

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Circle Pin Protector

 

Students are split into three different teams and assigned to a Screamin' color. They must roll or throw the balls to knock down their opponent’s pins while trying to protect their own. Students must throw the ball within their team’s circle, but are able to leave the circle to retrieve balls.
 

Team Pin Knockdown

 

Place Screamin’ Cones along the center line and Screamin’ Pins on each side of the gym. Kids must use the Screamin’ Balls to either roll or throw to knock down all of their opponent’s pins. The team with pins still standing at the end of the game, wins!

 

Pin Defender

 

Students form a circle around a Screamin’ Hoop with a Screamin’ Bowling Pin in the middle. Students pass the ball around the circle while one student tries to prevent the pin from getting knocked over. If a player knocks a pin over, they earn a point for the offensive team. If a player attempts to knock a pin over and misses, the student must switch places with the student guarding the pin. If a player is the pin guard and the pin gets knocked over, they must subtract a point from their individual score. The first person to 10 points is the winner! This game is an adaptation from thePhysicalEducator.com, check out Joey Feith’s “Guard the Pin” skill progression here.
 

Pin Protector

 

Screamin’ Yellow, Orange, and Green pins are placed on the opposite side of the gym. Students must roll or throw to knock down their opponent’s pins. Once all of your pins have been knocked down, your team is eliminated from the game. The last team standing is the winner!

View Gopher's entire selection of Screamin’ equipment.

Do you have a game that your students love? Share them with the Gopher Community by commenting below!

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5 Tips for Increasing MVPA Time in PE (Video)

Posted 2 months ago - by Gopher Community

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that children between the ages of 6-17 participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Physical Education is the main source of activity for many students. It’s extremely important to make sure that your curriculum is providing students with sufficient MVPA time. Here are five tips to increase MVPA time during your class:

1. Instant Activity

Create an activity for students to participate in as soon as they enter the gym! Have every student grab a basketball and make a hoop on every basket before class starts, Everybody’s It Tag or a quick game with Topple Tubes.  The video above asks students to perform today’s date by completing different exercises!


2. Active Roll Call

 

Tired of squads? Liven up your roll call by making it active! In the video above, students draw cards and perform a different activity based on the suit and number on the card. Every student must come to you to get a new card. This is a great way to see who is absent! Other easy ways to perform roll call is having every student grab a pedometer, if you don’t have data from the pedometer, then the student was not present in class. Establish pairs or teams for an entire quarter to be used for instant activities. You’ll know a student is absent if a partner is missing or a team is incomplete.
 

3. Smaller Games = More Participation

 

As Chad Triolet states in an earlier blog, group games can lead to a few players dominating the action. Increase activity time for all students by splitting a large group game into several smaller ones. Extra students can practice skills and rotate in once a mini game is over.

 

4. Circuit Stations

 

Tabata is a great way to increase MVPA time in PE! Check out Pete Driscoll’s webinar, “Introducing Tabata Workouts for PE.” He has some great ideas to get students moving. The video above is a non-stop circuit. Students complete one exercise and hustle over to the next piece of equipment for the next exercise. Perform 10 minutes of non-stop circuit action!


5. Active Time Fillers

 

Shannon Jarvis wrote a great blog featuring quick activity ideas for when there’s 5-10 minutes left in class. The video above is a variation of Shipwreck, but with a Basketball theme.

 

Bonus: Additional Ideas

  • Limit Transitions: Limit the amount of transitions in your class! Continue a lesson plan with the same groups of three or create easy commands for finding new partners.
  • Shorten Directions: Keep your directions short! Less directions = more activity.
  • Be Passionate! Your enthusiasm rubs off on your students. Students will want to be more active if they are inspired by their teacher. Be a great role model and your students will benefit from it!

 

Resources: Physical Activity Facts

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MVPA Hops to New Heights with Jump Rope Program (Video)

Posted 3 months ago - by Gopher Community
 

Jumping rope is an excellent exercise for increasing activity time, coordination and confidence. While jumping rope is often used as a warm-up activity, one professor studied the health and social benefits of an after school jump rope program.

Minnesota State University Physiology professor, Dr. Jessica Albers, studied students as they spent 2 hours after school learning how to jump rope.

“It’s one of the more high-intensity activities that you can participate in,” Dr. Albers said. “You wouldn’t think that jumping this high over and over again would get your heart rate up that fast, but it does.”

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Students between the ages of 8-12 learned and mastered different jump rope skills throughout the 12-week program. At the end, students performed a group routine at the local high school.
 

Increasing MVPA through Jumping Rope:

Jumping ropeWhile Dr. Albers used a more scientific approach to determine MVPA (Accelerometer counts and intensity cut points developed by Freedson et al), Gopher’s FITstep™ Pedometers track step count, total activity time, and total time within the moderate to very vigorous activity zone. With the FITstep™ Pro Pedometer, teachers are able to upload data into the FITstep™ software to organize into printable reports.

“What it’s looking at are the intensity levels of your activity,” Dr. Albers said, “If you want to actually see changes in the cardiovascular system within the respiratory system and even musculatory system, depending on the type of activity you’re doing, you need to be at these higher intensities.”

She tested students three times throughout the 12-week, 90-minute program and concluded the following activity results:

  • 9.7 minutes (10.8%) in very vigorous activity
  • 7.6 minutes (8.4%) in vigorous activity
  • 28 minutes (31.2%) in moderate activity
  • 8.0 minutes (8.9%) in light activity
  • 36.7 minutes (40.7%) in sedentary

Dr. Albers admits that most of the sedentary time was spent learning new skills and the group routine.  

“When we broke down, just for sense of time, MVPA specifically - moderate, vigorous and very vigorous - they were meeting their recommendations.” Dr. Albers said.

Albers was surprised with how much very vigorous activity time students were getting and thinks jumping rope is a great way to keep students motived throughout the entire class period. 

“We could just make kids run for 30 minutes a day. PE - go run for 30 minutes a day! But that’s no fun.” Dr. Albers said, “With jump rope, hopefully you keep it interesting enough that they continue to be active enough during that period of time.”

 

Other Benefits of Jumping Rope

Beyond physical fitness, Dr. Albers explained that there may be other benefits to jumping rope.

“Jump roping is so unique, you learn skills every single day.” Dr. Albers said. “If you have success in something, it overall increases your self-competence, and then with that, you are more likely to try something multiple times.”

Dr. Albers uses Harter’s Competence Motivation Theory as a large motivation for her reasoning. According to Oxford Reference, Harter’s Competence Theory explains that a person’s confidence increases after they master a task, encouraging them to take on more challenges in the future.

“You master so many things [in jumping rope], as opposed to some sports, you might take longer to see those mastery attempts be successful.” Dr. Albers said.

 

Getting Started with your Jump Rope Program

Dr. Albers currently teaches a jump rope class at Minnesota State University – Mankato and has worked with multiple schools to expand their PE curriculum or add an after-school jump rope program.

 “I encourage you to just go try it and be out there with your students.” Dr. Albers said, “Kids figure out things faster than you would think. Even showing them a video, they can kind of figure out some things on their own pretty fast, which is always fun.”

Dr. Albers recommends using the photos and videos at Jump Rope for Heart to learn different skills and techniques. You can also use Gopher’s JumpSkillz™ Mountain, a 6’L x 4’W banner that offers step-by-step instruction for 20 progressive drills and is a great resource for increasing jump rope instruction into your program. Need to replace broken jump ropes or add more to your storage room? Check out these Jump Ropes all backed by an Unconditional 100% Satisfaction Guarantee! 

How do you use jumping rope in your PE curriculum? Share your ideas for increasing activity time by commenting below!

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Wearing chest straps, syncing heart rate devices, and calibrating pedometers can be extra work and very time consuming for your students. Tracking activity time is important for measuring growth, but how can you get your students excited about wearing heart rate monitors and pedometers? We asked Minnesota State University – Mankato Physiology Professor, Dr. Jessica Albers, to give us her insight on how to get your students excited about aerobic exercise and tracking their improvement.

1. Explain what they're tracking

A deeper understand of what students are tracking and why they’re tracking it can be a great motivator. We asked Dr. Albers how she would explain MVPA and heart rate to an elementary student, see her response: 

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2. Long-term benefits of a healthy heart

It’s hard to get students excited about long-term health benefits. See Dr. Albers recommendations and tips for talking to your students about their long-term health here:

 


3. Visually tracking growth

When students are able to see their MVPA minutes increase or heart rate fluctuate, it’s a great visual motivator. Dr. Albers discusses that training with heart rate monitors can get your students to think about their activity level intensity, even outside of PE.

 


4. Preparing for fitness testing

We asked Dr. Albers how using pedometers and heart rate monitors can prepare students for fitness testing. 

 


5. Muscles won't work without oxygen

Dr. Albers explains how you can motivate athletes to care about heart rate when they participate in anaerobic activities.

 

 

The ability to efficiently and accurately track MVPA and/or heart rate is key to getting students excited about exercise and tracking their progress throughout class and over time.

Gopher offers a wide variety of equipment to that makes tracking activity time easy and hassle-free for teachers and students. Our line of FITstep™ Pedometers track steps, activity time, and MVPA. The FITstep™ Pro Pedometer uploads data into the FITstep™ Software, allowing you to organize data and print reports. It’s a great way to track your student’s growth throughout the year. Click here for all Pedometer options.

If you’re looking to track heart rate, the Optic™ Strapless Heart Rate Monitor instantly gathers student heart rate data and continuously tracks and displays it in real time. Use the AssessPro™ iPad app to collect heart rate data and email reports. Click here for all Heart Rate Monitor options.

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