A Practical Guide To Healthy Living
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HIIT with Kids

I love my workout time. It’s MY time, alone in my head with my crazy hip hop/pop soundtrack blaring in my ears . . . or to chat it up with my heavily tattooed buddies over weights at the gym. But my 10-year-old daughter loves to work out too, and guess what? She loves the same music I do (not sure what that says about me, but that’s for another post). So on weekends and vacations, we strike an accord: I go to the gym to lift, then come home to do HIIT cardio drills with her.

For those of you who’re unfamiliar, HIIT stands for high intensity interval training, and it is a short-circuit to increased stamina and endurance. You can change the exercises and intervals to suit your special needs (bad joints? no jumping for you!) and your fitness level (shorten the work intervals and then progress yourself by lengthening them gradually . . . and do the reverse with the rest periods).

Last week, my daughter made up this routine, and we did it several times through for about 50 minutes. I don’t know if our music was loud enough for the neighbors to hear, but it was earsplitting and we were jumping around and laughing and working up a great sweat together. Gather up your littles and give it a go!


Lil’ hint: if you click on that image, it’ll make it bigger. You can right-click on it and save it to your computer, print it out, and take it with you! Even without kids, it’s a great little circuit.

How do we keep track of time? I use the Bit Timer app on my iPhone – you can set your work, rest & repeat times and not only does it count you down with special tones, but it coordinates with your playlist so your music can be playing along AS YOU ARE TIMED. Best use of $.99 evah!

Do you ever exercise with your children? What do you do? Inspire us in the comments below!

© 2014, Sarah. All rights reserved.

  • Lydia R

    I love doing exercises/routines that change things up. This reminds me a bit of the deck of cards workout!

    • http://www.semisweetonline.com/ Semi-Sweet Sarah

      Thanks for reminding me about the deck o’ cards workout, Lydia! I think she and I might do that Monday . . . day off from school (of course, she is playing 3 soccer games that day, but she is usually up for more!). Thanks for reading!

  • http://justjeanae.com/ Jeanae

    What fun! I love working out as a family, as well as sneaking in cardio with xbox games and dance contests lol

  • Joelyn Morgan

    What a great workout and amazing idea! Thanks!

    • http://www.semisweetonline.com/ Semi-Sweet Sarah

      Did you try it with your daughter, Joelyn? How’d it go?

  • Liza Hawkins

    I love that your 10 year old enjoys working out with you AND the same music. That’s great!

    • http://www.semisweetonline.com/ Semi-Sweet Sarah

      Well, the music thing is, admittedly, because my iTunes looks like it was hijacked by a teenager! The music of my youth is now played on the “oldies” stations – still enjoy, but not for workouts. Current fav is “White Walls” by Macklemore!

  • Monica Young

    I do exercise with my son when we can. I try to motivate him about 5k and crunches. I think he needs to get more active as I get more active

    • http://www.semisweetonline.com/ Semi-Sweet Sarah

      I bet he will, Monica! Kids tend to model what their parents do (although this has NOT worked, so far, with food in our house – despite what all the “experts” say!). Thanks for reading!

  • Pamdemonium2

    I love that you workout with your daughter!! What a great role model!!!

    • http://www.semisweetonline.com/ Semi-Sweet Sarah

      She is a very athletic kid all on her own, so she usually works out with me when she’s not practicing for one of her 3 winter sports! ;) She has said, “Mom, if I don’t MOVE during the day, I feel awful.” You can imagine how tough sitting thru a long middle school day can be . . . .

  • Junebug Ash

    Great workout. My daughter is 2 and more likely to hinder my efforts such as sitting on me while I’m on the ground gasping for air. LOL I look forward to the days where we can workout together more. When she was younger we did yoga and strollercize together.

    • http://www.semisweetonline.com/ Semi-Sweet Sarah

      Oh Junebug, I remember those days. At that age, I much preferred working out on my own! As she gets older, hopefully it’ll get more fun . . . .

  • Stacy Cardin

    Our best workout is riding to and from school. We live at the bottom of a huge hill, so running, walking, riding bikes or scooters is a great workout! Also, if we leave the house early enough we can do a loop through the water-side park near their school. It’s equals about 2 miles total, mostly up hill!

    • http://www.semisweetonline.com/ Semi-Sweet Sarah

      That sounds awesome, Stacy – some of the best workouts are workouts that don’t feel like workouts . . . getting somewhere + being active = a win-win! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Joelyn Morgan

    That was pretty interesting – I have saved it to my phone to try the next time I am at the gym. My teenager and I go twice a week together and she will like this!

    • http://www.semisweetonline.com/ Semi-Sweet Sarah

      Great, Joelyn! Let me know how it goes – hope you both enjoy it!