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Teacher: Daniel Kovacich who teaches at White Bear Lake Area Learning Center in White Bear Lake, MN. Daniel Kovacich can be contacted at dkkova@wbl.whitebear.k12.mn.us.

Name of Best Practice: White Bear Lake Fitness Challenge

Rationale/Purpose of Event: To give youth cardiovascular exercise that will be beneficial for their health, and to show them positive activities to help enhance self-esteem and well being.

Suggested Grade Level: 9-12

Materials Needed: Stationary bikes or treadmill, pedometers, heart rate monitors.

White Bear Lake Fitness Challenge

Make a cardiovascular board with a road map on it of your state. For example I have a board with a map of Minnesota on it. Photocopy the road map and enlarge it to approximatley 4 times it's size, and paste it on the board. I only enlarged the part of the map I am going to use, which is from St. Paul to Rutledge Minnesota which is approximately 90 miles. Make sure you also enlarge the legend so you have an approximate idea how far it is from your starting point to your destination. Measure the distance using the legend and mark every 20 miles on the map. In class, give the students the pedometers which will read their mileage, and depending on what type of pedometer you have it will show calories burned while biking.

Make the class interesting by biking with them to music, and having them do such things as intervals, muscle group work, hills, and biking to the beat. Variety is the key! I use this in my weights class, and it is optional to my students. Some days I bike with them, and others they bike alone. Once a student reaches his/her first 20 miles take a pin and put a sticker on it with their name, and put it on the board. Then every 20 miles move their pin until they reach their destination. I give the students on quarter to do 90 miles which is approximatley 9 miles a week. If they reach the goal I give them a free White Bear Lake Fitness Challenge t-shirt.

The students really buy into this, because they have an option and a goal. Most choose to do it after they are finished lifting their weights.

Variations:

Can be done on the treadmill without pedometers, because a treadmill reads mileage. If you don't have cardiovascular equipment, but have pedometers, you can do this in gym class by having the students wear the pedometers and see how many miles they completed in class, calories burned, or even steps completed.

Teaching Suggestions/Tips:

The pedometers work great, because they have immediate feedback on what your students have done on the bikes. If I am not biking with them I will check on them every 3 minutes and give them another task to do on the bike.

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Posted on PEC: 12/3/2002 and has received 52 votes.

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