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The effects of HIIT have been well studied in adults, but little research has been done on children outside of competitive sports. Therefore, a research team led by Ketelhut integrated the method into the regular physical education of third graders. For the first 20 minutes, normal physical education lessons were replaced by activities involving intense movement, such as relay races with short sprints or circuit training, which was repeatedly punctuated by short recovery periods. "We tried to select intensive forms of exercise that were also fun," says Ketelhut. The training sessions were often accompanied by music and choreography. The study only ran for three months but was able to produce noticeable outcomes during this time. Both endurance performance and blood pressure improved significantly during the trial period. Ketelhut believes that this will also help prevent long-term health issues. "High blood pressure as a child often leads to high blood pressure as an adult."
According to Ketelhut, the results support the idea of integrating HIIT into regular physical education lessons since the training method is effective and suitable for children, and it motivates them to exercise. The training can easily be incorporated into a standard sports curriculum as it is not very time-consuming. Source:
Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg Journal reference:
Ketelhut, S., et al. (2020) Effectiveness of Multi-activity, High-intensity Interval Training in School-aged Children. International Journal of Sports Medicine . doi.org/10.1055/a-1068-9331 .
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