BIOLOGY ACTIVITY
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Heart Rate

Purpose

To set a standard for heart-rate-recovery-after-exercise to be used by Babe Ruth League baseball and softball teams as they screen players for heart problems.

Materials

Darryl Kile
USA Today

The Story

Darryl Kile was scheduled to pitch against the Chicago Cubs on Sunday evening. But late Friday or early Saturday morning he died!

Darryl Kile was an athlete. He was an All-Star pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals. He was not supposed to die of a heart attack. But at the young age of 33, fatty deposits had already blocked the coronary arteries in his heart.

It is rare for someone as young as Darryl Kile to have a heart attack; but heart disease is increasing among Americans as young as 15.

But if heart problems are caught early, a better diet and aerobic-exercise program can help.

Human Heart
Heart Image Maryland Heart Transplant Center

You are on a special committee for the Babe Ruth League. Your committee has developed a test that will be given to all young people who are trying out for a baseball or softball team. The test involves jogging in place for two minutes.
The only thing left to do is to set the standard for heart-rate-recovery-after-exercise. In other words, the League needs a cut-off number so that kids whose hearts are too weak can be identified.

Procedure

Read Fundamentals - What is a pulse?, and Skills - Proposed Babe-Ruth-League Heart Test. Work together with a class of middle school students to determine how quickly heart rates return to normal after moderate exercise.

Determine the average time for heart rates to return to normal after exercise. Then, decide where to set the cut-off.

Conclusion

Officials from the Babe Ruth League want to know the average time that it takes for heart rates to return to normal after exercise and the cut-off number that you have selected. Be sure to explain why you have selected that particular cut-off number.

Prepare a postcard addressed to the Babe Ruth League: 

Ronald Tellefsen, President/CEO
Babe Ruth League, Inc.
Camden Station
Howard St. at Camden St.
Baltimore, MD
Include your return address in the upper left-hand corner. In the body of the postcard, state:
average resting heart rate _______

average exercise heart rate _______

average return to normal time _______ min

recommended cut-off time _______ min


This activity was developed by the Event-Based Science Institute with generous support from the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. A teacher version of this and all other baseball/biology activities is available free from the Institute. This Heart Rate activity was written by George T. Martin, a science teacher at T. W. Pyle Middle School, Bethesda, MD.

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