Little did I know that when I was a kid running down the street at my grandmother’s house that I would go on to invent a running product for kids and adults. I wasn’t very coordinated and my dad used to call me Twinkletoes. But running for me as a kid was freedom. I could run all through the country roads and get a runner’s high. That was before I even knew what that was. But as a hyperactive kid, it seemed to eventually calm me down. And I was a happy kid. Maybe running had something to do with it. Because running is good for kids.
When should kids start running?
Pediatricians say that between 6 and 8 is a good time for kids to learn to run a mile without stopping. I would play a game where I would run as fast as I could to the next mailbox and then the next telephone pole. That was before I had music to distract me.
Reasons running is good for kids
There are several reasons why kids should engage in running or any form of physical activity. Here are some reasons running is good for kids:
Running is a great way to improve cardiovascular fitness, strengthen muscles, and enhance overall physical health. Regular running can help kids maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of obesity, and develop strong bones and muscles.
Running has positive effects on mental health. It helps release endorphins, which are natural mood-boosting chemicals in the brain. Regular running can reduce stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression in children, promoting overall mental well-being.
Motor Skills Development:
Running involves coordination, balance, and agility, which are crucial for the development of motor skills in children. By engaging in running activities, kids can improve their body awareness, spatial orientation, and gross motor skills.
Running can be a social activity, whether it’s participating in organized sports, joining a running club, or simply playing with friends. It provides opportunities for children to interact with their peers, develop teamwork skills, and build lasting friendships.
Discipline and Goal Setting:
Running requires discipline and perseverance. By setting goals, training, and working towards achieving them, children learn important life skills such as determination, discipline, and resilience. Running can teach them the value of hard work and help them develop a sense of accomplishment.
Research has shown that physical activity, including running, can positively impact cognitive functions in children. Regular exercise has been linked to improved attention span, memory, and academic performance. Running can also stimulate creativity and problem-solving abilities.
Encouraging children to run from an early age promotes a habit of physical activity, which can carry into adulthood. Regular exercise in childhood sets a foundation for a healthy lifestyle, reducing the risk of chronic diseases later in life.
Research has shown that kids who play outside are happier and less anxious than kids who spend more time indoors. Running outdoors is a good way to get kids out in nature rather than sitting on the couch in front of a TV screen or computer. Fresh, clean air is good for their health.
It’s important to note that children should engage in running and other physical activities in a safe and age-appropriate manner. Parents and guardians should ensure that children warm up and wear appropriate footwear and clothing. They should have proper supervision during their running activities. And always make sure they have plenty of hydration!
I think running as a kid set me up to enjoy being active and out in nature. Thanks to my passion for running as a kid I was able to invent a product that has enabled me to make a good living and create something for other kids and adults to make running better. If your kid shows an interest in running, encourage it.
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