Need a reason why? We'll give you five.
Quality Time1 of 6
Running is a great way to spend quality time with someone. With every passing mile, we tend to open up more and more about practically everything. Over time, our running buddy becomes our confidant—which, you know, is a pretty natural role for mom.
Ask her questions. Let her ask you questions. Use the time to get to know her as someone more than the selfless woman who used to drive you to soccer practice. Above all, just enjoy hanging out with her while sharing your favorite activity. Give her your undivided attention.
Bonus: Being side-by-side next to someone (as opposed to face-to-face) can make people feel more comfortable and less confrontational—making it easier to let your guard down.
Get Healthy2 of 6
Running is a great way to stay in shape. You knew that. But sharing your love of running with your mom will have the added benefit of passing along a healthy habit and, ultimately, improving her quality of life.
If she isn't ready to run right away, try taking a walk with her. Make a walking date and be consistent. Not everyone falls in love with running—shocking, I know—but any sort of active reinforcement can lead to a fitter, healthier mom.
Make Memories3 of 6
Doing a fun activity with someone is one of the best ways to create a memory or special moment—and, in our busy lives, it can be hard to coordinate schedules and plan things to do together. Running consistently with your mom gives you the chance to set a monthly or weekly appointment. It doesn't cost much and you don't need to do a ton of planning. Just agree on a time and place and run.
It doesn't have to be a big production or even a race. Take her to the same park that she used to tote you to as a kid and jog around it. Head to your old neighborhood and go for a run. Just being there will undoubtedly bring back some fun memories and stories.
Take Pictures4 of 6
Your run doesn't count unless you document it with a picture posted to social media. Okay, maybe that's not an official running rule but it might as well be! There's a reason your Facebook feed is packed with post-run and race pictures. People love to document their workouts. It's a fun way to record her (and your) running progress—and it's a great way to start taking more pictures with her. This is extra special if the last picture you have with mom is from Christmas, and she's semi-hiding behind the casserole you insisted she hold up.
Oh, is that just me?
Anyway, take a runfie (runner + selfie, duh) with your mom. Run a race with her and buy the photos. Snap a picture every time you run together for a photo collage. Just get in the habit of documenting this time with her. You won't regret it.
Teach Mom New Tricks5 of 6
Your mom taught you to walk and talk, to say "please" and "thank you," and never to talk with your mouth full. Now it's your chance to teach her something.
Start with the basics. Let her ask you a million questions. Take her to a running store to get fitted for running shoes. Show her your favorite running route.
If you want to run faster than her, be patient and imagine the countless nights she stayed up with you as a baby or exercised some patience of her own with the sassy teenager you used to be. Come to think of it, when that happens, ask her about teaching you to walk or tie your shoes. Her tips on that might come in handy one day.