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Fun Fitness Habit for Children

How fast have your feet been moving lately? I know it’s been a tough year throughout 2020 to make time and space for organized exercise, and to get your body moving! You may be stuck inside, school and work may be extra stressful lately, or perhaps your old exercise habits have been forgotten. Whatever the case is, it’s alright, it’s never too late to get started. It may feel hard at first to get yourself motivated and start but I promise the feeling after the workout is worth it! To make it even easier, how does a workout that is extra fun sound with your family or kids? It turns out that a “high intensity” or in other words “fast-paced” workout is the most fun for most people (scientists have studied this!). So this is what I would like to provide for you today, a high-intensity workout with rest times between each movement, AKA a high-intensity-interval -training workout. 

Who?

High intensity interval training is fun for the whole family! As long as you are free from injuries and are not experiencing any pain, this type of exercise will be healthy for your heart, brain, and whole body of muscles. Keep in mind to stay aware of your body and what it is telling you while exercising. If it doesn’t feel right, stop doing that movement and consult with a professional at your earliest convenience. 


What? High intensity interval training is the style of workout and it can provide benefits in a relatively short amount of time. The idea is to complete short (30 seconds) “bursts” of a movement and then take a short rest before starting the next movement. Remember to drink lots of water during rest times if you need it.


Where?

Any outdoor or indoor space that is deemed safe and is spacious enough to fit yourself and a mat is perfect for this workout.
When? Every second day is an awesome goal to work towards. Morning or evenings are both good, but it is up to you! Make sure to not exercise immediately after eating. And it’s a good idea to have a healthy meal afterwards!


Why?

There are so many benefits:

  • It’s generally perceived to be more enjoyable than other workout styles!
  • Lessens the risk of developing cardiovascular disease!
  • Lessens risk of developing obesity! 
  • Safe and effective for metabolic dysfunction alleviation! 
  • Can assist with modification of emotional tendencies and behaviour patterns! 
  • Reduces anxiety and instances of depression!Improves cognitive control and working memory abilities!

Convinced enough to give it a try?

What you need:

  • Timer
  • Water
  • Exercise/ yoga mat
  • Music 

How to do it:

Warmup:

1. Arm circles (standing or kneeling) x 10 each side

2.  Hip circles (lying on your back) x 10 each side 

Workout: 

1. Frog Hops x 30 seconds and 15 second rest

2. Jumping Jacks x 30 seconds and 15 second rest

3. Run on the Spot x 30 seconds and 15 second rest

4. Crab Walk x 30 seconds and 15 second rest

5. March in place x 30 seconds and 15 second rest

6. Jump side to side x 30 seconds and 15 second rest

7. Sit on the wall x 30 seconds and 15 second rest

8. Plank x 30 seconds and 15 second rest

*Feel free to switch up the workout exercises! For example, jump forward to back instead of side to side, or try moving your forearms like you’re “stirring a pot” while in the plank position!

HIIT blog image

References 

  1. Bond B, Weston KL, Williams CA, Barker AR. Perspectives on high-intensity interval exercise for health promotion in children and adolescents. Open Access J Sports Med. 2017 Nov 27;8:243-265. doi: 10.2147/OAJSM.S127395. PMID: 29225481; PMCID: PMC5708187.
  2. DeBoer, L. B., Powers, M. B., Utschig, A. C., Otto, M. W., & Smits, J. A. (2012). Exploring exercise as an avenue for the treatment of anxiety disorders. Expert review of neurotherapeutics, 12(8), 1011–1022. https://doi.org/10.1586/ern.12.73
  3. Eddolls, W.T.B., McNarry, M.A., Stratton, G. et al. High-Intensity Interval Training Interventions in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review. Sports Med 47, 2363–2374 (2017). https://doi-org.subzero.lib.uoguelph.ca/10.1007/s40279-017-0753-8
  4. Kessler HS, Sisson SB, Short KR. The potential for high-intensity interval training to reduce cardiometabolic disease risk. Sports Med. 2012 Jun 1;42(6):489-509. doi: 10.2165/11630910-000000000-00000. PMID: 22587821.
  5. Kirk I, Moreau D, Waldie K. High-intensity training enhances executive function in children in a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. eLife 2017;6:e25062 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.25062

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