The current guidelines for exercise for children is a minimum of 60 minutes per day. However, with that said, there may be another solution that may not require as much time. Just as adults are having success with High Intensity Interval Training there was a study published in Sports Medicine that was conducted in Finland and it found these short intense bouts of exercise elicit the same positive effects as the recommended 60 minutes of exercise per day.
I know for myself, with two kids, stuck in the Northeast part of United States, it is winter and its cold! Not to mention I have a four and a one and a half year old which makes things difficult at times. I found that one effective way to get the kids hearts rate up is to dance with them. They seem to love it, laughing and giggling, at how Daddy wiggles and jiggles I think. Oh well time to set the pride aside and bust a move. Another great way I found to get them moving is to do mini workouts with them. The other day, my four year old came down with me while I worked out and performed my exercises next to me. Not only did she get some exercise, she’s learning a good behavior and it was reminder to me why I was working out again.
When I was doing my cardio on the bike, she decided that she was going to do a dance routine to all of the cardio music, again getting those short burst of high energy and of course I had to dance with my upper body while biking (added cardio for myself).
I hope everyone out there gets a chance to experience this with their kids as well!