Thursday, February 7, 2013
Tabata Timer App to Get Moving
If you follow this blog at all you know I am always on the look out for apps that get kids and adults moving. I have been use this free Tabata Timer app for quite some time now and really like it. Tabata is an exercise protocol based on the work of a Japanese scientist named Izumi Tabat and his colleagues on high intensity interval training. Basically you exercise for 4 minutes going as hard as you can for 20 seconds followed by a 10 second break repeating this 8 times. I have had great success with children combining the Tabata 4 minute exercise routine with physical activity cards.
Start out by selecting at least 4 exercises to complete (you can repeat each one twice) or pick 8 different exercises. I use exercise cards for the children to choose the activities from. I usually pick through the cards for what each specific child needs to work on and then allow the child to choose from that pile. Once the exercises are chosen, if they are new I teach the child the exercise first. If not, we get started. Place the cards on the table and start the Tabata Timer app. It will count down to start with three beeps. Begin the first exercise. As the 20 seconds counts down the timer also provides a visual image of the time elapsing along with the number count down. For the last 3 seconds it beeps. You then rest for 10 seconds. Turn the first card over. Get ready for the 2nd exercise for 20 seconds. Repeat the process until all 8 exercises are completed in 4 minutes.
Here is what is so great about this app:
1. Kids are much more motivated to complete the exercises. There is a start and stop time.
2. The visual timer of the time elapsing let's the child see that the exercise is almost completed.
3. The rest period is just short enough for the child to be ready for the next exercise.
4. Kids who are very hesitant to complete aerobic exercise are completing this 4 minute work out without complaint. If I asked them to run for 4 minutes or jump rope for 4 minutes some children just would not participate.
5. Great little app to build endurance. Start a session out with the 4 minute workout and finish up with a 4 minute work out.
If you need physical activity cards, check out Physical Activity Cards and Games , Move Cards and Games and Action Alphabet.