Lesson Plan

Your Target Heart Rate

A nature trail along the Natchez Trace Parkway that loops back to its original location.

NPS Photo

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Grade Level:
Ninth Grade-Twelfth Grade
Physical Education
60 minutes
Group Size:
Up to 36
National/State Standards:
MS Objectives: 1, 1b, 2, 2c, 3, 3a, 3b, 4, 6, 6c
Heart Rate, Maximum Heart Rate, Target Heart Rate Zone, Healthy Parks, Healthy People, physical education, Physical Fitness, health, Public Health


Students will be put through a jog on a nature trail of the parkway and learn the importance of stretching and exercising in their target heart rate zone. The students will determine their pulse and  maximum heart rate (MHR). The students will then determine their target heart rate (THR) zone by using their MHR and record their data. The students will then be put through a mild stretching exercise. Finally, the students will then participate in a jog along the trail to the end of the trail.


Enduring Understanding: The greatest benefits in exercising are gained when training in the target heart rate zone.

Essential Question: How do you determine you target heart rate zone?

The students will be able to:

1.) Determine their pulse, maximum heart rate (MHR), and target heart rate (THR) zone

2.) Gain an understanding of what it is like to exercise at their own THR and the importance of doing so.


See Teacher Information Sheet

Disclaimer: The teacher should walk the trail or course before admitting students on the trail or course to determine if they feel it is a safe and desired site for the activity and remind the student of trail safety regulations. For more information call the Natchez Trace Parkway at 1-800-305-7417 or log online to www.nps.gov/natr


1.) Teacher Information Sheet

2.) Student Data Sheet

3.) Notebook, pen or pencil

4.) Stopwatch or Wristwatch (optional)

5.) Students should be wearing gym clothes and appropriate shoes



The students will be evaluated on their participation in the calculations of the various heart rates as well as the period of stretching and jogging.


1.) The teacher can make sure that the students know that the overall idea of the lesson was the importance of training in their THR zone. Review the idea when the students are assigned to other types of exercises. The students can take this knowledge and apply it to anytime they workout or exercise on their own.

2.) It may be a good idea for the teacher to have the students pair off with someone who they feel will is in about the same shape as they are or will keep the same pace as they do. This way no one will be on a section of the trail alone.


Heart Rate, Maximum Heart Rate, Target Heart Rate Zone