How Does Running Benefit Kids?
Most of us know the general benefits of running for everyone. People with a consistent running routine typically enjoy increased stamina and endurance, improved heart health, stress relief, and many other positive physical results. With your doctor’s approval, running is one of the easiest activities to begin as an adult; there is little to learn in order to get started.
Running can benefit kids in even more ways. Research shows that, besides providing physical benefits, running can play a role in kids’ development, such as improving academic performance.
According to this article by Angela Speight:
When children become involved in running it not only keeps them physically fit and healthy, it also provides many valuable life-learning tools that can harness the development of a child right through into adulthood. For example: better concentration for academic work, the building of confidence, time management skills, working towards goals and participating within a team and as an individual.
Benefits of Running
1) Physical: The statistics don’t lie. Conditions such as childhood obesity and Type II (adult onset) diabetes have hit epidemic levels. Inactivity (and often, an unhealthy diet) among both adults and children is a worldwide concern. Experts recommend that all children engage in 60 minutes of physical activity each day, which is especially good for heart health. Unfortunately, the observed activity levels in children are not nearly as high as they should be.
2) Mental: The challenge of maintaining a running routine can boost kids’ confidence, perseverance, and self-esteem. They learn how to set goals, and to feel accomplishment after reaching those goals.
3) Personal: Participation in sports develops social skills in kids. Running is fun, and it’s a good release of pent-up energy. As kids mature, they learn self-discipline and time management. Also, running fosters dedication and commitment to training, even when they have a bad day or don’t feel up to it.
Running Compared to Other Sports
- Running is inexpensive. Running shoes are the only required equipment, along with appropriate attire, but that’s usually a given for any sport. It’s imperative to have properly fitted running shoes. Our Experts at Omega Sports can make sure you have the perfect fit based on gait, size and performance. Visit your nearest Omega Sports for a complete gait analysis.
- You don’t have to pay participation fees, except for races.
- It’s appropriate for all personality types. Extroverts can run with a group, join a club/team at school…introverts might enjoy running as a solo activity, rather than feeling the pressure to perform on a team.
- There are few rules to learn.
- Running can complement training for other sports, such as soccer, basketball, or football. It’s the perfect way to keep up conditioning during the off-season.
- It’s an easy activity that the whole family can enjoy together. Training for a charity race is a great goal.
Special Considerations for Kids
- They should not overdo it physically. Their bodies, when not fully developed, may be more prone to injury.
- Running can be a high-intensity sport. It’s important for kids to learn when to push themselves and when to hold back.
- Emphasize the importance of warming up, cooling down, and staying hydrated.
- Be sure your kids tell you if something hurts or if they don’t feel well while running.
- Keep the activity enjoyable or they might get bored and want to quit. Young children have short attention spans, so running should be interesting and fun or they won’t stick with it. Likewise, your teen might get bored if they’re forced to run the same path or track all the time. Mixing things up will keep them engaged.
Parents, running is a great way to keep your kids fit. Lace up your sneakers with them, and consider starting a fitness routine involving the whole family. Let’s keep kids running, playing, and competing!
Visit OmegaSports.com for all your Active-Play and running needs. Our Experts are ready to get you and your entire family properly fitted for your next pair of running shoes and sports equipment needs.