Running with children
Running is natural
Walking and running are the most natural ways of moving around. This is clearly obvious at playgrounds or in kindergartens – children simply cannot move slowly, they are always running somewhere and they derive enormous joy and fun from this natural form of movement. In adult life we usually forget about this skill and we end our adventure with running on our last school sports day.
Be cautious with records
In rediscovering running we may become interested in continuously striving for ever better results and collecting prizes in amateur competitions. As long as this gives as joy and satisfaction and does not negatively affect other aspects of our life, there is nothing wrong with improving our results. It is important to remember that our children – whether in preschool or at an early school age – do not yet have such a great need to compete and infecting them with the urge to compete may not necessarily be a good thing. Particularly as there are an increasing number of races for adults, which have a part addressed specifically for children. As long as we treat it simply as fun and an active way of spending time together, everything will be fine.
Training for children
Of course, if your child is passionate about running and wants to take part in regular and organised training sessions, there is nothing to stop them from starting their adventure in running. However, it is important for a doctor or a professional trainer to determine if the child is sufficiently physically developed to start training.
Just for fun
Running with children should be a game and should encourage them to take part in physical activity, showing them that it is a great way to spend time together. In larger groups of friends, mini competitions can be organised for children, such as obstacle courses or short-distance running races. However, these are only a means to achieving healthy habits with children and running in any form is pleasant and healthy and is not about rivalry, but about having fun.
The good old game of “Catch”
The best example of an old and proven running game is the game of “catch”. One of the children is “it” and they must catch and touch another person who then becomes “it” and chases after the others. There is no need for elaborate or expensive equipment, and with a bit of ingenuity this or any other running race can be enriched.
The health benefits of amateur running are hard to overestimate. It strengthens the circulation and immune system, and increases overall body performance. In addition, endorphins are produced during exercise, which ensure a good mood. Finally, running together, whether in the form of light training or running games, builds and strengthens the bonds between children and parents. So get your running shoes on and get running!