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Racing Through My Heart

I am always on the hunt for cross curricular activities and the students love the chance to get out of the classroom and visit the gym.  I use this project in my Algebra I course and sometimes at the beginning of my Algebra 2 course for review.  This project is as relevant as I can get for solving and graphing linear equations.  This activity tends to also get my athletes involved, which is always a good thing.  It doesn’t hurt that Tennessee is one of the most obese states and my students need this knowledge.

I give the students this information:

I then give them a scenario that we work together.
For example, Linda is 40 yrs old, has a resting heart rate of 75 and is just beginning her exercise program (her intensity level will be for a beginner).

220-age = Maximum heart rate (220-40=180 MHR)

MHR-RHR= 180-75 = 105

Linda’s minimum training heart rate:
(180 – 75) x .50 (Min. intensity) + 75 = 128 beats/minute

Linda’s maximum training heart rate:
(180 – 75) x .60 (Max. intensity) + 75 (RHR) = 138 beats/minute

Therefore, as a beginning exerciser, Linda’s target heart rate range is 128-138 beats/minute.

I then ask the students to find their own RHR and THR.  The students then create posters to hang in the gym and weight room that help people find their THR.  I ask the students to include a graph in the pamphlet where the RHR is the independent variable and the dependent variable is the THR.  I normally assign each group an age level appropriate for high school and ask them to produce a graph for each intensity level.

When the groups finish the posters and the data is verified, we take a trip to the gym and weight room and hang them on the walls.