Physical education teachers are trading in their traditional equipment for heart-rate monitors and video games that encourage running, jumping, and stretching. Taken together, these two trends are transforming P.E. classes across the country and are spurring school officials to vie for millions in grants.

More than 10,000 schools across the country reportedly use heart-rate monitors—wristwatches that calculate a student's heartbeat and heart rate target zone—that make it easier for teachers to track student performance. And a growing number of schools are embracing a new phenomenon known as "exergaming," encouraging students to exercise using video games such as Nintendo's new Wii Fit


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