Physical literacy is a very important aspect of any child’s proper development. That is why parents have to understand that some things that might sound quite “natural” to be learned by kids by themselves, such as running, require attention. So, parents should be teaching kids to run a proper way.
1. Personal Example
A child should learn how to run a proper way, and it is advisable to begin teaching this at the age of 7, as a kid will be able to memorize everything relatively easily and develop the proper technique. So, the basic premise is to show a kid the running posture through a personal example. Elbows at 90-degree angle, head in a still position, and a proper breathing technique. It is imperative to tell a kid that you have to use both nose and mouth to breathe.
2. Start Slow
Slow and steady wins the race. The basic workout for your kid should be as simple as possible. This way, a child will be able to get used to the pace and other things. So, I advise to accompany child run and watch for mistakes. Begin with 4-minute runs and then return to the starting spot. This way, a kid will be able to develop correct running habits without getting annoyed by exhaustion, which is important for any new activities that children try out.
3. Keep a stable pace
The thing with running is stability. I strongly advise all parents to give their kids a habit of maintaining a consistent running pace. This practice is imperative for avoiding exhaustion, injuries, and annoyances. And, when your child suffers an injury while running, it’s understandable that you’ll panic. Get them to the emergency room if it’s apparent that they need it. If you are unsure whether to go to urgent care or needs paediatrician walk-in appointments, an excellent first step would be to call the doctor’s office and look for a paediatrician near you. Furthermore, having a consistent pace during a run is beneficial for one’s cardiovascular apparatus, which transforms into a longer and healthier lifespan.
4. Increase the distance
After getting used to the short-distance trips, begin considering longer runs for your child. So, while your child is on the way to learn how to run, you can begin to enhance their stamina. Basically, you should try and pick a route that is fun. For example, a run to the park, a local landmark, playing ground, or that ice cream shop. By gradually increasing the distance while keeping it fun, your child will develop proper technique in no time.
Other important things
5. Proper equipment
Wish I knew some of the things I am about the list here long ago and I would pay someone to do my research paper about running a couple of years ago. However, personal experience is the best teacher. It is imperative to buy your child a pair of proper shoes that are designed for running, the same goes for the socks, which should be moisture-wicking. After all, adequate footwear will ensure that a kid will not suffer from joint problems and blisters. Also, never forget that a child grows, so it is important to keep up with footwear.
6. Make use of technology
Getting a fitness tracker or smartwatch is an interesting idea as well. Considering the possibilities of the latest technologies, you can track your child’s progress and even things such as heartbeat rate and distance traveled. Furthermore, if you decide to let your kid go for a run alone, giving a child this fitness tracker is also a safety reassurance.
Your child run training sessions should be always supported with packed water. The reason is quite simple – proper hydration is just important. This statement is multiplied several times when you are participating in intensive physical activities. Dehydration is very dangerous, and you should protect your child from this risk at all costs.
Develop their habits
When it comes to running, consistency is the key. Take your kid out for a run at a regular schedule and do so frequently. This way, a child will get used to cover greater distances with every run. Trust me, one day you will notice that your kid will outrun you even at long 3 to 5 km races! This will not only make a parent proud personal coach, but will give a child the so-needed confidence, not to mention the health benefits.
9. Healthy diet
While this is a no-brainer, healthy eating habits can greatly enhance the quality of your child run. Eating something light and easily digestible two hours before running is important to maintain adequate energy levels and avoid exhaustion. I would suggest food that is rich with carbohydrates, such as fruits and vegetables. Even more, a child should have a snack immediately after a race to refill energy levels.
10. Social running
Running with others is important, especially for kids. They will feel company, fun, and a feeling of healthy competition. So, encourage your kid to call friends for a jog, or accompany them yourself. This way, a child will be motivated to cover greater distances and keep up with others while having a good time.
Teaching kids to run is an important activity that will give them long-term benefits in many aspects of life. So, these tips should serve as a basic guiding line for those parents that want to enhance the quality of life for their children. After all, it is a healthy and fun way to bond with your child, so have fun.