Wednesday, October 6, 2010

How Students Will Work Outside of Class to Improve/Maintain

We will be "Running Across America" outside of class to help to improve/maintain our aerobic capacity. Each week, students will log how long/how far they have run/walked at home outside of class. Every Friday, we will collect each student's run/walk log and add up how many miles we have run/walked together. We will plot our miles on a map of the United States following Route 80 for 2, 902 miles! As we travel from NJ to California, we will make pitstops along the way to discuss the healthy foods we can find in different regions and cities in our country.

If parents would like to join us on our "trip," we'd love to plot a Parent's Route parallel to ours!  Students will be bring home a log sheet for parents to fill out as well.

All walking/running counts...outdoors, on a treadmill, in a mall, on vacation. From September through May 31...we're walkin', yes, indeed, we're walkin'!! Come join us!

How Students Will Work In Class to Improve/Maintain

Students will work in class each period on improving the aerobic capacity. We will include walking as well as running in our warm-up activities each day.  Aerobic capacity improves with practice; the more practice, the greater the improvement. We will also learn about pacing and splits.

By learning to use even pacing students learn to maintain roughly the same speed throughout the distance they are running/walking. Pacing results in better performance as students will not fatigue as quickly and will build endurance. To learn how to control pace, students will track their "splits."  In other words, we will be timing each lap of a 4 lap mile and will strive to have equal times on all 4 laps.

In addition to practicing how to pace speed, students will also practice pacing effort. With even effort pacing students will try to maintain the same perceived effort level throughout the race. This type of pacing is more appropriate for beginners. Even effort pacing will result in slowing throughout the run/walk due to the perceived effort level rising as you fatigue. This type of pacing will allow students to finish comfortably, but will not result in optimal performance. This is important as students will learn that they can in fact run/walk a mile successfully and will encourage them to continue to excel.

Class Performance: WELL DONE!

Congratulations, Class!!! I am so proud of each of you and you should be proud of yourselves as well!!

As a whole, our class performed very well on Walk Test. We had a total of 18 students for whom scores were obtained, 7 male and 11 female. The fitness assessments are based on normative data by gender as well as age.

Overall, our total class fitness assessments were fantastic! 13 or 72% of students scored Good to Superior and 5 or 28% of students scored Fair to Needs Improvement. More girls than boys scored Good to Superior. 9 or 90% of the girls scored Good to Superior with 4 or 57% of the boys scoring Good to Superior.

Based on verbal feedback from the students as well as visual assessment during the assessment, I believe this was mostly due to higher motivation from the girls.  Some of the boys mentioned they were demotivated by the weather.

VO2max scores for girls ranged from 7.9ml/kg/min to 60.1ml/kg/min and for boys from 35.9ml/kg/min to 56.3ml/kg/min. The average VO2max for girls was 39.43ml/kg/min with a standard deviation of + 13.85, and for boys was 48.53ml/kg/min with a standard deviation of + 8.59. I believe the "Fair to Needs Improvement" category was impacted more by inclement weather and low motivation than by lower aerobic capacity. We all absolutely have the ability to improve our scores next time and we'll work together in class to build both our endurance as well as our motivation!

Congratulations on a job well done!

Control for Reliability

In order to control for reliability, we performed our walk test during class outdoors on a standard 400m track. Students completed 4 full laps plus 10m to equal 1 mile. Prior to the assessment, students were provided with instruction on how to use appropriate pacing and how to maintain consistent motivation. One challenge we did encounter was some inclement weather. The Walk Test is a reliable test for assessing aerobic capacity.

Test Validity

Peak aerobic capacity is a measure of cardiovascular fitness and health and is considered one of the best measures of health and longevity. According to the Cooper Institute, the Walk Test is a valid test for aerobic capacity as it measures for VO2max using the Rockport Fitness Walking Test equation which incorporates age, gender, total time and heart rate. It is important to note that in athletic people, the Walk Test will overestimate VO2max.

Teaching Video

Date of Next Assessment: Monday, November 8, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Where to Go for 1st Assessment, Monday, Oct. 4, 2010, 12:30pm

We will be conducting our 1st One-Mile Walk Test on the outdoor track. We will begin our lesson in our regular classroom and then move as a class outside to the track. Please meet at the Gym, Room 225 at 12:30pm on Oct. 4, 2010

How to Improve In and Out of Class

To improve aerobic capacity in and/or outside of class, students should particpate in at least 20 minutes of moderate to intenese physcial activity at least 3-5 times per weak. Moderate to intense physical activity is activity that raises heart rate between 65-85% of a person's target heart rate. 

Target heart rate can be calculated by performing the following steps:

Step 1: Find your resting heart rate as soon as you wake up. You can do this by counting your pulse for one minute while still in bed. You may average your heart rate over three mornings to obtain your average resting heart rate (RHR). Add the three readings together, and divide that number by three to get the RHR. For example,
(76 + 80 + 78) / 3= 78.

Step 2: Find your maximum heart rate and heart rate reserve. Subtract your age from 220. This is your maximum heart rate (HRmax). For example, the HRmax for a 24-year-old would be:
220 - 24 = 196.

Step 3: Calculate the lower limit of your THR. Figure 60% of the HRmaxRESERVE (multiply by 0.6) and add your RHR to the answer. For example:
(118 * 0.6) + 78 = 149

Step 4: Calculate the upper limit of your THR. Figure 80% of the HRmaxRESERVE (multiply by 0.8) and add your RHR to the answer. For example,
(118 * 0.8) + 78 = 172.

Step 5: Combine the values obtained in steps 3 and 4 and divide by the number 2. For example,
(149 + 172) / 2 = 161 (You can get the same result by simply multiplying HRmaxRESERVE by 0.7 and adding to it RHR).
Subtract your RHR from your HRmax. This is your heart rate reserve (HRmaxRESERVE). For example,
HRmaxRESERVE = 196 - 78 = 118

Preparation for Assessment

In preparation for this assessment, prior to the test we will perform dynamic warm-up exercises including jumping jacks and marching in place. We will also stretch the anterior tibialis and gastrocenemius and soleus muscles as well as the quads and hamstrings.

Evaluation Criteria

The One-Mile Walk Test is meant to provide each student with a snapshot of their individual aerobic capacity. It is not a competition between students.

Each student will be assessed indivudally based on the normative data for VO2max as established by the Cooper Institute. The formula used for calculating VO2max is:
VO2max = 132.853 - (0.0769 × Weight [lbs]) - (0.3877 × Age [yrs]) + (6.315 × Gender [F=0, M=1]) - (3.2649 × Time [00:00]) - (0.1565 × 15 sec Heart rate x 4 [bpm])

or for a simpler calculation, visit:

For girls aged 19+ a score above 33 is considered good to superior. For boys , aged 19+, a score of 36.5 and up is considered good to superior. A score below these  numbers falls in the fair to needs improvement categories.

Lifelong Assessment of Aerobic Capacity: The One-Mile Walk Test

During class, we will be performing the One-Mile Walk Test as an assessment of our individual aerobic capacity. This test is perfect because walking is something we'll be able to do for our entire lives. Additionally, this is a test you can repeat on your own. Once you learn how, you can repeat this assessment every year, every 5 years, every 10 years and so on to provide an ongoing look at your aerobic capacity. Please be aware, this assessment is appropriate for students aged 13 and older as it has not been validated with younger children.

The objective of the One-Mile Walk test is to walk one mile at a constant pace as quickly as possible. Maintaining a constant pace is vital so that you do not become tired by walking too fast at the beginning.  In order to prepare for this assessment, in classes prior to our test, we will be building our aerobic capacity by walking at a constant pace at progressively increasing distances. Through these and other aerobic endurance building exercises, you will build your aerobic capacity while becoming aware of your individual best pace for completing one mile.

The One-Mile Walk Test is NOT a competition between students. Rather, it is an opportunity for self-reflection and self-improvement.  Each student will keep a record of their individual scores and will create a goal for improvement for the post-test. We will work together to develop ways for each student to improve their individual scores through aerobic training and conditioning both in and out of the classroom.

The One-Mile Walk Test will be administered on a 400m track. Students will complete 4 complete laps plus 10 yards around the track to complete 1 mile. Times and Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) will be recorded for each completed lap so that students gain an understanding of constant pacing and fatigue. Finally a total time will be recorded. At completion of their final lap, students will also record their final heart rate (beats per minute based on a 15-second heart rate) as well as their Rate of Perceived Exertion (Borg Scale 1-20). These statistics will be used to assess overall aerobic capacity (as measured by VO2max) as well as to help set future goals.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Aerobic Capacity

In simple terms, aerobic capacity is a dimension of how physcially fit you are. You may have heard terms such as cardiovascular fitness or aerobic fitness or cardiorespiratory fitness. Generally speaking, they all mean essentially aerobic capacity.

Aerobic capacity is probably the most important area of any fitness program. Research shows that acceptable levels in this area are associated with a reduced risk of high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, obesity, diabetes, some forms of cancer and other health problems in adults.

Learning how to assess your aerobic capacity now and in the future will help you througout your life to lead a long and, more importantly, a healthy life.

Mrs. D's Physical Education Class, Reaching New Heights Middle School, Anytown, NJ

Welcome to my class! We are going to have an exciting semester as we work together to improve our overall health and well-being and focus on our personal fitness and goals for improving.  This class is about where YOU are now and where YOU want to be by the end of the semester as what we do relates to your life and your health. I look forward to working with each of you to develop the best YOU you can be!!!