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Exercise

Me? Exercise? Why?

When you think of exercise, you might be thinking about muscle builders at the gym lifting weights. Well yeah, that is exercise but it's not the only type. Exercise can be any you actively do - sports, dancing, playing tag... you name it.

Your heart pumps blood throughout your body and your blood has oxygen, which your body needs to function right. Regular exercise makes you pump more blood faster and also helps your heart to pump get stronger and pump blood better.

In this experiment, you'll get to find out what your heart rate is before and after exercise. Then, you'll calculate what your target heart rate is to see how healthy you are.

You Will Need:

  • Clock
  • You

What to Do:

  1. Make sure you've been relaxed for the past few minutes - not running around. Blood pumps through your arteries and can be felt on your wrist, neck, and over your heart. See which of those you can feel your heart pulse the best and put your index and middle finger on it.
  1. Have that clock ready? Count for one minute how many pulses you have. You can also count your pulses for half a minute and multiply by two - you'll still get a minute that way.
  1. Write down how many beats you had. That's your resting rate. What do you think would happen to that number if you were active? Would it go up or down? Why do you think so? Let's find out.
  1. Walk around for two minutes. Don't stop, keep walking.
  1. What's your heart rate now? Use the method from earlier - index and middle finger over a part of your body and count the heartbeats for a minute. Write this number down. This is your moderate activity heart rate. Is it higher or lower than your resting heart rate?
  1. Subtract your age from 220 and multiply by 0.50. Then do the same again but with 0.70 instead of 0.50. Your approximate target heart rate for moderate activity should fall somewhere between those two numbers. If not, you might want to exercise more.
  1. Run around for two minutes.
  1. Like before, put your index and middle finger over a part of your body and count the heartbeats for a minute. Write this number down. This is your high activity heart rate. Is it higher or lower than the other two heart rates?
  1. Subtract your age from 220 and multiply by 0.70. Then do the same again but with 0.85 instead of 0.50. Your approximate target heart rate for moderate activity should fall somewhere between those two numbers. If not, you might want to exercise more.

The Not Exercising BLAH
Don't turn into a couch potato! Get out and play!
 
How did you do? You know, exercise doesn't just help out your heart. Can you think of some other ways it can help you?

For one, exercising can make you muscles stronger. It stretches your body, which helps make you more flexible. It helps you to burn off extra calories from the food you've eaten. It can even make you feel good. Exercise isn't just the only part of a healthy life. Make sure that you also eat balanced, nutritious meals.

For more healthy exercising, be sure to check out...
KidsHealth

http://kidshealth.org/kid/

Why Exercise is Cool
http://kidshealth.org/kid/stay_healthy/fit/work_it_out.html

Kidfit!
http://library.thinkquest.org/4139/

And the Heart Cart in the World of Life when you're visiting the California Science Center.

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