Technology is an integral part of life and we are becoming increasingly more reliant on it than ever before. The large advancements in technology have changed the way we look and do things because the technologies that we use make everything we do much more efficient. As teachers and society become more comfortable with various technologies, it is likely that technology will be implemented in all areas of the educational curriculum. Technology has become a major focus in the classroom settings, especially Physical Education classrooms. Physical Educators have been exploring the implementation of various technologies for quite a long time. The explosion of the Internet has inspired teachers to use web technology to access resources, connect to professional organizations, engage in communication, and supplement class materials. In recent years, the growth in fitness equipment has skyrocketed and the marriage of gaming and fitness has completely changed the outlook and approach to ways to stay active and in shape. Here are some great examples of technologies that can be used in an everyday physical education setting.


Heart Rate Monitors


HR monitors can be used to help show your students what it really means to be physically active. Have your students wear a HR monitor during a physical education class. Then download the data and print off their HR activity during the lesson. They can use this information as part of a sportfolio to show how much physical activity they participate in with an elevated heart rate. They can also set goals for increasing the duration at which they maintain an elevated heart rate. Knowing what your heart rate is when you are working out is the best way to see how much work you are actually doing. Once your students know what their target exercise heart rate is, with the help of the HR monitors, they can stay within the optimal exercise range and therefore get the most out of their workouts as possible. A great source to shop and compare various monitors is
http://www.heartmonitors.com

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Pedometers/Step-o-meters


Pedometers can be an excellent tool for students to see how many steps they have taken during their physical education lesson. The pedometer is placed on the students shorts/pants, or some can be worn on your ankle. The device then measures the distance that you travel by measuring strides or by measuring your hip undulations. As with HR monitors students can set personal targets for potential improvement in each lesson. Students can wear their pedometer in class or throughout their entire day. Different lessons could incorporate different tasks, and there are multiple websites that off free pedometers. Click here.



Body Fat Meters


A body fat meter is an available tool used to measure the percentage of fat in the human body. One relatively inexpensive type of body fat meter uses the principle of bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) to determine an individual's body fat percentage. To achieve this, the meter passes a small, harmless, electric current through the body and measures the resistance, then uses information on the person's weight, height, age, and sex, to calculate an approximate value for the person's body fat percentage. The calculation measures the total volume of water in the body (lean tissue and muscle contain a higher percentage of water than fat), and estimates the percentage of fat based on this information. A good resource for these products can be found at
http://www.heartratemonitorsusa.com/body-fat-measurement.ht


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NIKE +


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The Nike+ Sports Kit is a device which measures and records the distance and pace of a walk or run. The Nike+ consists of a small accelerometer attached to or embedded in a shoe, which communicates with either the Nike+ Sport band, or a receiver that plugs into an iPod. The Sports Kit can be used to track running, which it refers to as "workouts". The user chooses a goal for the workout, which might be to cover a specific distance, or burn a number of calories, or workout for a specified time. A workout can also be started without a goal, which is called a "Basic Workout". Audio feedback is provided over the course of the workout, depending on the type of workout chosen. For goal-oriented workouts, the feedback will correspond to significant milestones toward the goal. In a distance workout, for example, the audio feedback will inform the user as each mile has been completed, as well as the half-way point of the workout, and a countdown of four 100-meter increments at the end of the workout. For more information, check out http://nikerunning.nike.com/nikeos/p/nikeplus/en_US/
Exergaming
“Bringing Exercise & Game Play Together” is the slogan of Exergame Fitness. Exergame Fitness is the global leader in Exergaming products and medically driven programming. They have over 10+ years experience in the fitness industry and were first to market with fully customized room designs keeping active gaming a positive way of battling childhood obesity and inactivity.
They offer customized room décor, custom marketing and branding materials, the Global Exergaming Network, merchandise line, optional upgraded medical programming, preventative product maintenance, section of tested active gaming products, 2D, 3D & Fly-Thru concept designs, and Exergame Education Workshops. More information can be found on this website.

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Wii Fit


Wii Fit is a video game developed by Nintendo for the Wii console. The game uses a unique platform peripheral called the Wii Balance Board, in which the player stands on during exercise. The game features yoga, strength training, aerobics, and balance games. This is a great cardio workout and also focuses on enhancing body control and balance through various exercises and games. The students have the ability to create custom fitness regimens or choose from a number of specialized routines based on specific objectives and available time. The students will also be able to make their own mii, which is a digital avatar that looks like them. Students can do these activities in a group setting as well.


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Kinect


The Kinect is a "controller-free gaming and entertainment experience" by Microsoft for the Xbox360 video game platform. Based around a webcam-style add-on peripheral for the Xbox 360 console, it enables users to control and interact with the Xbox 360 without the need to touch a game controller, through a natural user interface using gestures, spoken commands, or presented objects and images. As the first games for this innovative platform are launched it’s obvious that a very big part of these games are based on giving users a complete body workout, which is made evident because the games designed for Kinect are only controlled with the body. There are multiple games for the system that have many good used for the physical education classroom. “You Shape Fitness Evolved” allows the student to physically interact with the environment. The game scans the student’s body before the session begins and creates an interactive workout based upon what the student decides they what to do for that session. Having a different approach to fitness, the “Zumba Fitness” for Kinect Xbox 360, is focused on giving the user physical workouts with the aid of powerful dance sessions. There are several dance styles that players can choose from; Reggaeton, Salsa, Hip-Hop, Mambo and Rumba to name a few. The game can be played by dance experts and beginners alike, because the games enlists a dance teacher which shows all the correct moves that can easily be followed. Another very useful release for Kinect is “The Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout” which offers one of the most complete workout programs that allows the user to have fitness diaries and even a workout buddy. It has different difficulty levels which can be set from easy to hard and it also comes complete with diet tips and healthy recipes.

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Under Armour’s E39

It’s the world’s most innovative athletic evaluation and improvement tool; the electric compression baselayer that tracks your biometric signals. The data, stored in the heart of the shirt, transmits to a computer or handheld. You look at it, you learn, you get better. The performance tee features a removable "bug" sensor equipped with a triaxial accelerometer, processor, and 2GB of storage flanked by additional monitors that measure the wearer's heart rate and breathing. A system provided by Zephyr can then analyze the athlete's individual movements and biometric data to help identify performance issues like when the body is moving out of sync thereby slowing down an athlete's linear speed. The shirt measures the athlete’s heart and breathing rate, the G-Force and horsepower produced, and it is equipped with a body positioning interface. What this means is that the shirt is the future of training, not only can it help the athletes performance but it can give vital information to trainers and coaches. Scouts, coaches, and trainers can collect the data over Bluetooth from Smartphone’s, tablets, or PCs to measure and potentially improve performance. An athlete measuring a low G-force for their particular sport could, for example, be put on a strength training regimen to help improve explosiveness.

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These are just a few of the new and improved technologies that can be implemented into today’s physical education classes. These activities allow students to get a good workout without realizing they are really working out. It brings a fun and entertaining environment to the gym rather than running around the track, or always taking direction from your teacher. Students will be able to have personal statistics and portfolios so that they can track their own progressions and also see where they need to work on things.

Performance FootwearOne important aspect of physical activity is what you have on your feet. A lot of physical activity places high rates of stress and impact on the balls and heels of your feet. If your feet are not properly supported and cushioned during high impact activity you can cause injury to your feet or other parts of the foot, such as the ankle. This is where performance footwear comes into play. There are many types of performance footwear available today for all different types of physical activity.
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Brooks Running Shoes
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ASIC Running Shoe

Performance footwear can be an expensive purchase, so it is important to do some reasearch before you make a purchase. Different types of shoes are made for the different type of gait cycles. For example, some shoes are made for over pronators, over supinators, and neutral runners. It is important that you establish your type of gait cycle and purchase a pair of shoes that is developed for your gait cycle. Performance footwear is being developed to aid the wearer in the physical activity and enhance your experience. This technology can help prevent injuries, aches and pain from general exercise, which can change your opinion on physical activity and exercise.

Calorie Calculator


This calculator is designed to give the approximate number of burned calories for various activities.
Calories burned during exercise is influenced by body weight, workout intensity, conditioning level and metabolism. Regular physical activity will allow your body to maintain a healthy weight. This tool is a good way to figure out how many calories your body burns during your exercises. imagesCAU9O162.jpg