Being a healthy role model can include a plethora of choices we make for ourselves; eating nutritious foods, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep and getting regular exercise. But, is there more we can do to empower our children and get them excited about living a healthy lifestyle? There is, make fitness a team effort!
Partner UpBeyond our individual choices are the choices we make as a family. One great opportunity to share fitness with your children is to directly involve them in an event. There are some great child appropriate races all over the country where parents can run alongside their children. The distances tend to range from half a mile to a 5K; pick the distance based on your child's abilities and age.
Train TogetherTraining together can be as fun as completing the actual race. Sit down with a calendar to schedule your runs with your child and make "dates" to run together. Look at the distance you will need to complete and the number of runs you both will need to do in order to practice before the main event.
Involve your child in picking the race, ask them where they would like to do their training runs and ask for ideas on ways to stay healthy and strong on the off-days--when you don't have a run planned. This may seem very simple--and it is--however the meaning it has for your child is enormous.
Here are some of the feelings or thoughts your child can take away from this experience with mom:
- Running is fun
- Exercise is important
- I can accomplish a goal
- I am strong
- My mom is strong
- My mom wants to be strong with me
- My mom wants to be with me!
Farel Hruska has over 16 years experience as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. She is the National Fitness Director for Stroller Strides, holding Stroller Strides certifications throughout the country and supporting hundreds of instructors nationwide. Hruska is a national educator and presenter in pre/postnatal fitness education, as well as a CEC provider for the American Council on Exercise and Aerobics (ACE) and the Fitness Association of America (AFAA). firstname.lastname@example.org