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Hopscotch: A Heart-Healthy Hit

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Hopscotch: A Heart-Healthy Hit

If you were a kid at some point in your life (most of us were), you probably know what hopscotch is. Most playgrounds have them: a variegated design of 1-2 1-2 steps that lets kids hop and jump their way to a healthy heart.

Hopscotch needn’t be complicated: a simple design with squares can be drawn with colored chalk in less than five minutes, or you can invest in a more permanent design that will last your playground for years. The game is easy to learn but hard to master: you start with two feet on the “squares” labeled “1” and “2”, then jump to the next square, “3,” but the key is you can only land with one foot. Then, balancing on that same foot, you have to jump to the next pair of squares, “4” and “5,” this time landing on both feet.

If you thought that you would then jump to the next square, “6,” and only land with one foot, you’re right! From there, the cycle continues until all squares have been “hopped.” Then you get to start again.

It’s a simple game, but an incredibly effective one. Played at a fast pace, hopscotch can break a sweat in no time. It also works balance and fine motor skills, which is especially important for young kids. For an added brain-bending twist, try flipping the steps around. When you’re supposed to use both feet, use one; when you’re supposed to use one foot, use two. In addition to the physical exercise, this “opposites” twist stimulates critical thinking skills as well.

Do you have a hopscotch at your school?

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