Kids and Running

kid running

Recently, I was asked if I had any tips on running for kids.  Since I have a few ankle biters of my own, I figured I would share some things that may help you on this subject.   One thing I do know about kids is that they have more energy than me, and they like to run.  But running while playing hide-and-seek is much different than running a 5K race.  We are going to discuss running for kids, and how to be healthy with it.

Right now, I believe our kids in the United States, and probably worldwide are more obese than ever before.  We are feeding them an unhealthy diet, and letting them play hours of video games.  I think it is time we encouraged our kids to get out and get a little exercise, and what better way to exercise than to enjoy a little running?  Indeed it is a great skill and hobby to teach our kids so that they can enjoy being fit for a long time.

How Can I get My Kids Motivated to Run?

The first thing to thin about is how to get them motivated to run.  Well, I believe there are a couple things you can do to get them motivated.  Here are a few.

* Kick Them Out -If your kids are lazy, then they are not going to decide to hit the road for a 5 mile run.  One of the first things you have to do is help them to learn to enjoy the outdoors a little bit.

* Be an Example-  One of the best ways kids learn is by example.  If you are out running, then they will want to come along.  If you are a couch potato, then well…

* Have Fun With It – If they enjoy running, then they will want to do it even more.  Maybe you can run together, or make a game out of it.  Just enjoy running, and enjoy being with your kid a little. Not only will your kid learn to enjoy running, but you will be bonding as well.

How Much Should My Kids Run?

Okay, so now that you have motivated your kids to be interested in running, the other big question, is how much is too much.  Let’s take a look at the different ages of kids and things to consider.

For really young kids under five years old, I have limited running to outdoor play and games such as tag.  I have let my tikes run with me down the block, and then we return before we get too far.  This short run lets them get a taste of running, and spending time with Dad, but it does not wear out there little legs.

Even once the kids get to be to the age of ten or so, I think they are still in a development phase.  I think at this point they can probably handle a mile or two fun run.  I would hold off on any 5k races until after age ten.

Through the preteen and teen years, your kids may begin to develop a love for running. It is a great hobby to have.  At this point, they may decide to become more serious about running, signing up for 5k and even 10k races.  Help them understand all of the important concepts of running that you have been learning here, such as proper running form, running training, and how to stay on a running schedule, and cross training.

The biggest thing is to pay attention to the health of your child.  if you see any health problems or injuries rearing their ugly head, then do not hesitate to seek the proper medical attention.  The key is to make sure that your kids enjoy running, and have fun with it.

Take Action

Depending on what age your kids are, go ahead and find some ways to encourage them to be more active and start running today! 

What do you think?

What are some ways that you can get your kids more interested in running? 

2 Responses to “Kids and Running”

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  1. Thanks for sharing your experience running with kids. I started running with my kids around age 5 or 6, we live next door to a 60 acre park with wooded trails, so it was easy and safe. Today my older son is 15 and runs high school cross country and track, and my younger 9 year old son just joined the middle school cross country team. The benefits of running for kids extend beyond the health benefits, running means setting goals, working hard to achieve them, being a good team mate and helping others, and so on.

  2. ashley carr says:

    Thanks for that advice i used it in my running secdule this year i helped alot and i noticed my love for running!

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