Worried that your child is increasingly becoming inactive? How about taking running with your child. Transform your sedentary lifestyle and become more active, as a family!
By Aditi Sheoran Chhajta
We all agree that lifestyles are getting more and more sedentary as most of us are hooked to our screens. So, it is becoming imperative to go the extra mile when it comes to making time for regular physical activity for children. This is important, as participating in any regular sport will helps your child concentrate better at school as also, develop a positive body image. Naturally, this also leads to greater levels of confidence.
How does running help?
Running by default will make your child eat right and sleep well too. Moreover, it is an intense physical activity that can also help develop a more disciplined routine for your child. While it may seem like a fairly solo activity, this is far from the truth. Running forms the core cardiovascular exercise you will need to do at the gym or while playing any sport. This makes it a universal 'Mother of All Sports', in some ways. What's more, the best part about running is that it not only tones you and improves your agility but also, acts as a meditative pill that help you feel uplifted all day long.
If your little one takes up a sport early and you ensure that the training and practice is both playful and fun-filled, any interest can blossom into a passion in no time. Running is no different! Also, for a parent, nothing is more important than raising a happy, healthy and sporty child.
So, here are our top picks on how you can encourage the love for running in your child:
1. Doing it yourselves: Yes, let’s start with the toughest one! If as a parent, you manage to conquer this feat, the culture of being fit and active becomes a part of the household. A child tends to learn the most by example and no better way for parents, than leading from the front. It’s fun indulging in a healthy sport with your child and sure adds to bonding as well. If you are genuinely interested in running, there are greater chances that your child will follow suit too.
2. Buying running gear: This goes along with the passion for running. A new pair of running shoes or running gear can definitely be a good pretext for your child to get started with this activity. Goes without saying, the right gear can lead to a better running performance, which further boosts the child’s interest.
3. Turning it into a competition: When it comes to your child’s running, start small. Set achievable targets in terms of distances to cover and then clock longer distances in a specified time. As your child keeps achieving targets, she gets encouraged by the progress. It’s a great idea to make your child participate in track events to further increase her confidence about running. As she meets peers engaging in running, her interest will automatically grow by leaps and bounds. As she competes, she may even follow a couple of role models too. This can enhance the experience as well as her interest in the sport. Ultimately, time and distance can be tracked only to help her improve but the real wiring that gets developed in the background is a ‘Never Give Up’ attitude. This is priceless and lies at the very heart of running.
4. Running around interesting locations: Children are naturally curious and it is double the fun to explore new locations while indulging in the activity of running. This can add a unique flavour to this hobby and expands your child's horizons further. So, why not join up with a running group that frequently organises events around various locations in your city? Why, you could even participate in running events as a family and get fitter, together!
5. Linking it to a sport: Running by himself may not be your child's cup of tea. Usually, children prefer to choose a group, paired or team sport as that tends to be more interactive, engaging and fun. But, the best thing about running is that it is a great preparatory skill for most other sports — from soccer, tennis, cricket, boxing and swimming to volleyball, basketball, squash, climbing or even, badminton and table tennis. Introduce running to your child as a way to get better at another sport he absolutely loves. It will make it a more open-ended way of starting up on this amazing journey!
They say sometimes the best runs come on days you didn’t feel like running. So, if you haven’t yet started, just put your running shoes on and start now! Trust us, your child will surely follow suit. You will become fitter and more active, as a family.
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Aditi Sheoran Chhajta