Running is an activity everyone should practice regularly, since it promotes psychological, mental, and physical benefits. Childhood obesity has tripled since 1980. If you take the rise in childhood obesity into consideration, nowadays it is crucial for kids to take on such a routine, too.
As a parent, it is your job to educate children about the benefits that come from running, as well as motivate them to become more physically active to improve their well-being. After all, what’s more important than the health of our children?
Benefits of Running
Experts believe that the human body is shaped for running. If you think about it, our feet and hips, the legs length, the spinal discs that are shock-absorbing, and even our unique ability to sweat – all make us perfect for running. It makes you understand why running is often associated with benefits to our health and well-being.
But, what are the benefits of running, really?
Running can improve both our physical and our mental health. As a form of exercise, it can improve the health of the heart, alleviate depression and stress, as well as keep us in a good shape.
Running is great for children too, as long as it is structured and overseen by the parent or professionals. There’s a big debate as to how and how long should children run, but there sure isn’t one about whether they should run or not. The bottom line is, if you want the best for your kid, you definitely want to get them off the computer and out running.
The earlier your child starts running, the sooner they can increase their cardiac health and bones. Running is known to increase bone strength, improve sleep, decrease the risk of developing diseases like type 2 diabetes, as well as boost the confidence and self-esteem.
7 Tips to Get Kids Involved in Running
Getting your kids involved in running isn’t all that simple. It requires a special approach, some parental tricks, and dedication on your behalf. According to Samantha Rogers, writer at Brill Assignment, ‘’Convincing my kids to run has been the hardest thing I had to learn them. But once I did, I felt like the greatest mother in the world. My kids don’t spend so much time in front of the computer or the TV – they run now.’’
So, if you are ready to take on this challenging parental task and improve the well-being of your children, following this seven tips is a great way to get started.
1. Do It Together
You’ve probably heard this many times – children learn from the actions of their parents. If you want to really convince your children that running is good, you should do it too. Preferably, you should do it together.
If you run with your children, you can also implement other healthy habits into their routine, such as a healthy nutrition for all the runners in the family and a running schedule. Children seek guidance from their parents, so running with them should truly inspire them.
‘’The best advice I’ve ever received about raising my children was to do things with them. When I tell them that something is good for them, they are hesitant and rebellious. When I do it and ask them to join me, it pulls us together. It’s a trick every parent should know.’’ – says Rebecca Nolan, expert at Myassignmentwriting.
Take your children for a run in the park or on a trail. If you want a bigger adventure and a challenge for the family, bring them to a race. However, if your children aren’t too enthusiastic or simply can’t keep up with a running routine right away, you might want to combine running with some nature walk.
2. Teach Them to Warm Up
All your efforts will be in vain if your children aren’t warmed up before running. Without warming up, they will feel pain after running, and can even get hurt while doing so.
Don’t underestimate the power of stretching and warming up and teach your children about it right away. Since you’ll be running with them, start the routine by doing a couple of warm up exercises and stretches. As a sports writer for Superior Papers says: ‘’Warming up before running is essential for keeping your child pain-free, but also for keeping them safe from being hurt. Muscles need to gradually relax. Otherwise, there’s a huge risk of pain in their limbs, which will eventually cause a loss of interest in the child.’’
3. Start Slowly
Don’t push running on your children too hard. Introduce it step by step, and slowly. Start with short, entertaining runs that won’t cause achy limbs or make your child feel exhausted. The process should move gradually, and so should the length of your family runs.
4. Record Their Progress
It doesn’t have to be military-style, but you should definitely record your child’s running progress. In this way, you can keep track of their achievements and award them as a tool for motivation.
Since you’ll be introducing running slowly, you should see improvements fast. When you do, make sure to praise their achievements to boost their self-esteem and motivation. Creating a graph or taking a photo of their first race on the fridge is great motivation, and so is a treat you give to your child after a finished running milestone you set together.
5. Start a Log
Tracking the child’s distances in a log is a fun and motivating way to keep them running. Teach your child how to do this in their own log, or even on the computer. Create milestones and distance estimates for your family to reach to keep them motivated. As a plus, you can use the log to boost their math skills.
6. Find a Children’s Race and Enter Them
There are plenty of races for kids that promote a running habit. If you can’t run with your kid, make sure they have other children to run with. The races for children are perfectly timed and always short, so you shouldn’t worry about them being exhausted. Plus, they get the benefit of being able to meet other children, which should get them more excited about the races. Check out JustRaceLah! – the most complete running calendar mobile app.
7. Play Games
One of the best techniques for teaching a child anything is to do it through games. Children love games, so why not turn running into a game, too? Plan some games that involve running to motivate the children to run with the help of fun.
Are you ready to teach your child to run? Use these tricks to motivate them and boost their lifestyle and with it, their health and well-being.
Guest Post / Author’s Bio:
Scott Mathews is an expert editor at Best Dissertation and a sports writer for the company called College-Paper. In his spare time, Scott is the little league coach at a primary school, as well as a full-time husband and father of two boys and a girl. Scott enjoys running as much as the next healthy person, and is more than happy to share tips on promoting children’s health with other parents.