A 4-Minute Exercise Scientifically Proven to Help Children Focus

Cartoon showing a girl exercising
A 4-Minute Exercise Scientifically Proven to Help Children Focus

When you are trying to fit in some exercise, four minutes is enough. Judy Katz, a pediatric occupational therapist in Chicago, is raving about how beneficial and easy FUNtervals can be for children. Developed by Shane Sures, Brendon J. Gurd, and Jasmin Ма, these are four-minute-high-intensity exercises that feature storytelling and rest periods. One FUNterval includes eight 20-second bursts of intensive movement followed by 10 seconds of rest.

Improve Your Focus

They are engaging and fun, but they have also been proven to help kids become more regulated and focused. When children are emotionally dysregulated, they are less in control of their responses to certain stimuli. Katz explains that an adult experiences lots of internal emotional reactions, like finding out that an ex is dating a new person or a colleague has copied their outfit. On the other hand, children don’t always know how to control their emotions so a little movement can surely calm their minds…

Run in Place for 20 Seconds, Rest for 10

Cartoon showing a girl exercising with a dog
A 4-Minute Exercise Scientifically Proven to Help Children Focus

Imagine this: You are watching your dog — let’s call him Skip — play when you hear some guy on a skateboard go by. All of a sudden, Skip dashes out of the house to chase him. You have to catch your dog. So, start running in place for 20 seconds and rest for 10.

Lunge Side to Side for 20 Seconds, Rest for 10

Cartoon showing a girl exercising
A 4-Minute Exercise Scientifically Proven to Help Children Focus

You start looking left, right, up, and down for your dog. If the sidewalk is icy, though, you slide all over the place like an ice skater. So, lunge side to side for 20 seconds and rest for 10.

Stretch Your Arms Up and Reach From Side-To-Side for 20 Seconds, Rest for 10

Cartoon showing a girl doing stretches
A 4-Minute Exercise Scientifically Proven to Help Children Focus

You found your dog, but he’s way up in a tree. So, you have to reach high into the sky — all the way to the tallest branches — to grab him. Stretch your arms up the sky and reach from side to side for 20 seconds, then rest for 10.

Jump in Place for 20 Seconds, Rest for 10

Cartoon showing a girl doing jumps
A 4-Minute Exercise Scientifically Proven to Help Children Focus

You graze your Skip’s foot, but you can’t grab him. It’s time to jump as high as you can for him. So, jump in place for 20 seconds and rest for 10.

Squat and Stretch for 20 Seconds, and Rest for 10

Cartoon of a girl squatting while holding her puppy
A 4-Minute Exercise Scientifically Proven to Help Children Focus

You finally rescue Skip from the tree. You carry him in your arms, but he’s so heavy that you have to squat to refrain from dropping him. Squat and stretch for 20 seconds and rest for 10.

Walk Heel to Toe for 20 Seconds, Rest for 10

Cartoon of a girl walking heel to toe
A 4-Minute Exercise Scientifically Proven to Help Children Focus

You cross a narrow bridge on the way home and balance your body to walk one foot in front of the other until you cross. Walk heel to toe for 20 seconds and rest for 10.

Jump for 20 Seconds, Rest for 10

Cartoon of a girl doing jumping jacks
A 4-Minute Exercise Scientifically Proven to Help Children Focus

You made it back home! Celebrate by doing jumping jacks for 20 seconds and rest for 10.

These fun and simple exercises will undoubtedly help your kid focus more.