High Intensity Interval Training (HITT) is something you may do at the gym, but did you know it is safe and effective for kids too?
Pediatric physical and occupational therapists love this model for building health, strength, and regulation
This is one of our favorite activities for all children. Jackie has been using this activity since working with children who have cystic fibrosis and other pulmonary conditions. Seeing first hand the benefits HITT exercises have on keeping airways clear, healthy, and preventing infection. Learn all the reasons why we love adding HITT exercises to our sessions and how easy they are to incorporate into play with your child!
#1 - Improved strength and endurance
HIIT workouts involve short bursts of intense activity followed by brief rest periods. This type of exercise helps to strengthen the heart and lungs, improving overall cardiovascular fitness. HIIT exercises often incorporate bodyweight exercises or resistance training, which can help children develop muscular strength and endurance.
#2 - Supports mental health
Studies have shown that regular exercise, including HIIT, can enhance cognitive function, attention, and memory in children. It can also help reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety, leading to improved overall mental well-being.
#3 - Fun and engaging
HIIT workouts often incorporate a range of exercises and activities, making them enjoyable and engaging for children. A common way we incorporate them into our sessions is through animal walks. Families have told us they love to engage their children in these exercises during pretend play or as a way to burn off energy during a rainy day! Check out our instagram post here where Jackie shows off how to do each animal walk.
#4 - Provides heavy work and proprioceptive input
Occupational therapists love animal walks because it provides increased feedback and sensory input for our sensory seekers. It is a fun way to build in heavy work and proprioceptive input for those kids who need more sensory input to understand where and how their body moves in space. Want to learn more about proprioception? Check out our instagram post about it here
#5 - It's short and easy to add to your day
HITT consists of doing a fun, active warm up followed by 3-4 rounds of a series of exercise for 30-45 seconds at a high intensity, followed by 15-30 seconds of rest. Kids could do a workout like this anywhere without any equipment using daily activities and in no time at all! (see example below with some of our favorite animal walks). Or, just get your kids implementing this throughout their days with short bursts of activity such as hopping on a hop scotch, jumping rope, jumping over cracks on the side walk, or running circles around the kitchen island! HIIT can be modified to any age, ranging from toddlers to teenagers.
Looking to build your child's strength, endurance, or sensory regulation?
We are here and accepting new clients for the summer! Please reach out to us here to sign up for a free consult to find out what services are right for you and your child. Want to learn more? Sign up for our monthly newsletter where we go in-depth on different topics each month. Tell us below how you build in HITT exercises into your child and families everyday life. We love to hear from you!