Are your kids running as much as they need to?

At a certain age, some kids discover that they love running. Much to their parent's dismay, most toddlers develop the ability to move surprisingly fast in what seems like no time at all. That is an important part of the developmental process. But as kids get older, stationary activities can start to look more appealing.

In a study that asked kids why they don’t get enough exercise, most said that busy schedules and screen time were the main things that got in the way. As a parent, you can probably see the same issues -- and you can also help fix them.


Wondering how to get your kids running and loving it? We’ve put together running activities that can help your family discover the joy of movement -- read on for what to do and why it matters.

The Health Benefits of Kids Running

Children Running

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Running comes with a long list of health benefits. The earlier your kids get started, the better chance they have of developing healthy running habits that will help them in their adult lives. Here are just a few of the lifelong benefits of running they’ll enjoy.

Stronger immune system

More confidence

Fast results

Mental benefits

Better memory

Stronger bones and joints

Maintain healthy weight

How to Teach Proper Running Technique

Child And Mother

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The proper technique helps get your kids to enjoy running even more.

Even if you’re not a runner yourself, you can learn the basics of proper form and teach them to your kids. Try running in place while facing them so they can see your technique and copy it. Here are a few tips to help the process.

Keep good posture

Focus on the arms

Step correctly

A bird in the hand

Kids Running and Safety

Kids Running

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While kids running technique is valuable, don’t get too caught up in it. Your kids don’t need to run with perfect form to get the benefits of running. You can teach more technique as they become more interested in running.

However, you do need to teach them a few essential safety tips so they won’t get injured. First, make sure your kid uses the right shoes for running: they should fit well, offer support, and have enough traction.

Next, teach them to warm up by stretching, especially before a longer run. A short period of stretching is usually plenty.

Finally, make sure they understand the importance of hydration. Check on your kids and encourage them to drink water before, during, and after running activities. Remind them to stop if they feel any pain at all, and make sure they know only to run where it’s safe.

Running Activities Your Kids Will Love

Now, let’s take a look at the activities that can get your kids running at any age.

Toddlers


Kid

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To get energetic toddlers to give running a try, introduce them to the idea with one of these fun activities.

Scavenger hunt

Build a road

Play games

Kids


Kids Running

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As your kids get older, they’ll start to explore and discover their own unique interests. Some might want to try running as a free-form fun activity, while others may want to try it as an organized sport instead.

Obstacle course

Sprint races

Visit a track meet

Teens


Woman Running

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Teens who like running might be ready to start running independently, such as by going to the track to train. For teens who’ve never tried running, though, it can be a little harder to get them to warm up to the idea -- but these tips might help.

Try a fun run

Get the right equipment

Help set goals

Ready to Get Your Kids Running?

Kid Running

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Start kids running early, and it can become a lifelong healthy habit. But even if you have an older kid or teen who’s never tried running before, these kids running tips will help them get started and learn to love it.

Not all kids will like running at first, but some will warm up to it with practice. Others might use it as a starting point to discover other sports and activities that they like more. Encourage your kids to follow those passions -- as long as they stay active while they do so.

Are your kids running and loving it, or are you looking forward to inspiring them with these tips? Let us know in the comments!

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