The Heartbeat That Can’t Be Beat

Hummingbirds are amazing. They can hang in the air over a flower long enough to suck nectar for dinner. To do this, they flap their wings 80 times per second. That is such hard work that their hearts beat more than 1,000 times a minute! Our hearts beat just 60 to 100 times a minute while resting. Even when you exercise, your top heart rate should be 220 minus your age. Do the math below to find out what that is!

Wee ones: Flap your arms 5 times fast like a hummingbird, and count the flaps as you do!

Little kids: If a hummingbird sucks nectar from the 3rd flower in a garden, then the 6th flower, what number flowers does it skip?  Bonus: If it decides to eat from 6 flowers, what numbers would it say to count down from 6?

Big kids: If your highest heart rate should be 220 minus your age, what does that come to for you?  How about for your mom or dad? Who has the highest top rate?  Bonus: What if you had to eat 12 times your weight today because you exercised so hard? How many 1-pound burgers would you have to eat? (Hint if needed: 12 times your weight is the same as 10 of your weight plus another 2 of your weight.)

Wee ones: Count your flaps: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5!

Little kids: Flowers 4 and 5.  Bonus: 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

Big kids: Different for everyone…subtract each person’s age from 220. Kids should have a higher top heart rate than grown-ups, because you’re subtracting a smaller number — fewer steps down from 220.  Bonus: Again, different for everyone…multiply your weight in pounds by 12!

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