The obesity epidemic is spreading like wildfire in many industrialized countries. In addition to this, childhood obesity doesn’t look like it’s taking a backseat either. To help counteract the status quo of this occurrence that many children are unfortunately dealing with, implementing exercise into their daily lives is crucial for attaining a healthy body and a healthy mind.
It is no surprise that in this day and age many parents find their children spending their weekends glued to the TV or playing video games for hours on end. How can this be minimized so that they can reap all of the glorious benefits that exercise has to offer?
Well, one of the best ways to get kids outside and moving is to make the experience fun and exciting for them! If they happen to not be interested in playing sports or engaging in general fitness, you can try out some fun and unique fartlek training methods to help get them active and energized.
Not only can these fartlek training methods help kids to become more active, they can also be used to help kids advance in endurance sports. Sounds pretty great, right? Okay, let’s check them out!
7 Fun Fartlek Training Methods for Kids
#1 Fartlek training with buddies
Having kids exercise with their friends makes the entire experience seem less like “work” and more like a fun time with their buddies! Take a drive to the park if it’s a pretty day out or go to your local recreation center to perform some fartlek training sessions. The change in tempo of a fartlek run will also help to make the experience more feasible for them and not so over-demanding.
#2 Listening to music
Performing fartlek training while listening to music is a great way to help kids stay motivated to run and have fun doing it! Listening to music in itself is an enjoyable experience. So, combining it with fitness only makes things better.
An effective way that you can get your kids to utilize music with fartlek training is by having them run at a specific speed during certain parts of a song (e.g., run at the verse and walk at the chorus). You could also have them run with the tempo of the song. For example, if it’s a slow song, have them power walk. If it’s a fast song, have them run.
#3 Take out the bike
What kid doesn’t like to ride bikes? Riding bikes doesn’t have to be merely for leisure. You can get creative by using fartlek training on a bike. First try to make sure that you have ample space to ride at that’ll have minimal obstacles (e.g., no street crossings, minimal turns, etc.).
Once you find a nice open space to ride at, you can aim for a steady pace for 5 minutes, a very fast pace 3 minutes, and then a “cool down” pace for 2 minutes. You can then repeat this 10 minute fartlek training circuit as many times as you want!
#4 New territory anyone?
One of the main reasons that kids don’t want to exercise is because they think it’s boring. Change up the scenery to help make things more exciting and adventurous. Once again, doing so will make the entire process seem more like an outing rather than a chore. This is key for kids to maintain exercise adherence.
#5 Walk the Dog
Taking the dog out for a walk with you as you do your fartlek training methods is a win-win for you and your favorite pet! Dog obedience training may be necessary before you decide to run at certain locations. As long as you have an open space you should be fine. Perform your session just as you normally would if you were by yourself. Of course, make sure that your pup will be able to handle the fartlek training method too!
#6 Make a schedule
Making it a point to designate a specific time to exercise is a very good idea because it helps with overall fitness adherence. If you don’t make it a point to exercise a certain number of days a week for example, then you risk allowing yourself to veer off track.
This is a slippery slope that may lead you to getting out of the habit of exercising all together. To help your kids stay on the path of better health and better fitness, try getting organized by planning certain times throughout the week to use fartlek training and other healthy cardiovascular type training.
#7 Fartlek training in the pool?
Ever thought about performing interval cardio training in a pool? It’s actually a pretty efficient way to not only attain many of the benefits that cardiovascular training has to offer, but you can also have a blast doing it!
With this type of fartlek training method, you can have them swim to one end of the pool as fast as they can, then have them swim at a moderate pace as they return to the starting point. As long as they’re manipulating their tempo in a systematic way, then they should reap the benefits of this awesome interval training technique!