Promoting heart health is something that physical educators should and can be doing year round, but February is dedicated to highlighting and promoting the importance of heart health. Check out these five ideas for PE activities to get students’ hearts racing and active.
Five Fun PE Activities for Heart Health Month
All you’ll need are some space, four hoops, and a beanbag for each student. Create four student groups and have each group stand with a hoop in each corner of the space with all the group’s bean bags inside the hoop. Teams will take turns walking to another team’s hoop and taking a bean bag. The team with the most beanbags scores a point!
Fitness Card Circuit
For this activity you’ll need 4 cones, 1-2 packs of playing cards, a hoop, fitness tasks, 12 jump ropes, 4 mats, 5 tossables, 2 medicine balls, and some music. Place a task card and corresponding in each corner of the activity area, and then the hoop in the center. Create four groups of students have them spread out around the perimeter. Teams run to the center to get a task card and completes the accompanying activity. The goal is to get through as many different activities as possible within the time limit.
Interval Running Deck
For this heart healthy activity, you’ll need 1 deck of cards per 10 players and 1 cone per 10 players. Using the cones to create a starting line, scatter the playing cards face down approximately 30 paces from the starting line. Pair up students and on the signal, students take turns running to grab a card and returning to the starting line. While their partner grabs the next card, the waiting player does jumping jacks (or other selected exercise). The goal is to collect 5 cards, and the pair with the highest total wins the round.
Heart and Soul
This simple activity helps students to learn about measuring their heart rate and how to remain within Zone 3 (the Aerobic Zone) for an extended period of time. Give each student a heart rate monitor and set up a place to record heart rate readings. Turn on some music and have students begin to move around the room in an effort to increase their heart rate to Zone 3. Every 5 minutes or so, pause the music to record each person’s heart rate.
To get this activity moving, you’ll need 4-8 cones (to create a track), 1 deck of playing cards per 10 students, and one heart rate monitor for each student. Create an oval track with the cones and have students in groups of 3-5 spread out around the track. Stand on one side and ask students to begin moving around the track. As each student passes, give them a card, continuing for 2-3 minutes. The goal for students is to collect as many cards as possible in the time limit and maintain an aerobic heart rate. Different cards earn different points, and the student with the most points wins!
More PE Activities and Inspiration Online
If you’re looking for more ideas for heart healthy activities, or other ideas for fun ways to get students moving, check out the other blog posts in the Physical Education category of the Schoolyard blog. Also be sure to check out the thousands of fun and exciting PE and sport products available online.