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What is a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout? HIIT workouts are short bursts of intense physical activity lasting from 10-60 seconds followed by rest periods. The cycle can be repeated 3-10 times. In children who experience challenges when regulating their emotional responses to complex situations, HIIT workouts can help with self-regulation. Our mind, body and brain are connected. For some children, difficult coursework can lead to dysregulation causing their brain to produce higher levels of cortisol and adrenaline which ca

n lead to anxiety and meltdowns. As a result, there is a decrease in executive functioning and, according to some, IQs may even drop as much as 30 points during a meltdown. HIIT workouts help to reduce cortisol and adrenaline levels while increasing our brain’s natural mood lifters, thus, self-regulation and a greater ability to retrieve information necessary for learning. The following HIIT exercises can be used throughout the day to give your child a brain break.

  • Frog Jumps. Hop back and forth like a frog.

  • Bear Walk. With hands and feet on the floor and hips high, walk left and right.

  • Gorilla Shuffle. Squat with hands on the floor and shuffle around the room.

  • Starfish Jumps. Jumping jacks as fast as they can.

  • Cheetah Run. Run in place as fast as they can.

  • Crab Crawl. Sit on the floor with palms flat behind them near their hips, lift up and crawl.

  • Elephant Stomps. March in place, knees high and stomp as hard as they can.

Additional benefits are helping in the reduction of fidgeting, increasing focus and attention to tasks and improving the ability to learn and process new concepts being taught. Have fun with HIIT workouts by playing your child’s favorite music and/or by joining them! By taking the anxiety and frustration out of learning results in pleasurable learning which we never forget.

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