Wednesday, June 6, 2012

National Running Day: Make it a Family Affair

Happy National Running Day! Hopefully this isn't the *only* day you try to get out there for a run, but just like "bike to work day" or "walk your dog day" (I'm sure it exists somewhere), I like that we have a day to recognize how awesome we are.

Shared this from Runners World on my Facebook Page and think it's appropriate for today.

We will pack up the jogger and take it to the park for an easy four miles with a playground stop. As you know, I've been gently encouraging my daughter to get in the running spirit by bribing her with pretty sneakers and promises of play time if she rides patiently for a few miles at a time.

What's great is that she is starting to show a good bit of excitement. Granted, 2-year-olds are excited about everything from Legos to peanut butter, I like that she sees someone round the corner quickly in front of our house and exclaims, "Look Mommy! A RUNNER!"

So I think National Running Day is about more than just logging our own miles. We should find a way to involve someone else in our addiction the fun. Whether you get your kids to run around the block with you or partner up with someone who's newer to the sport, find a way to share your enthusiasm. It's bound to be contagious.

In fact, I think it is especially important to get your kids involved in today as well as your regular activities any other day. As it stands, circumstances are not stacked in our favor when it comes to encouraging our kids to be active, what with extra curricular activities and PE often being the first things that are cut when a district's budget starts to get a little tight. Some schools, in an effort to save on labor expenses by shortening the school day have eliminated recess. Recess!

I know it's hard between work, chores, homework, and other responsibilities to find time to be active as a family, but even just once a week will have an impact on how your child embraces physical activity. Kind of like eating vegetables: If they're on the plate from day one, the child will not expect a substitution. If daily activity is a part of your family's routine from the get-go, your child will hopefully learn to look forward to it on a regular basis and eventually embark on his own journey to learn a sport and develop a talent. I was fortunate to have been raised with the opportunity to participate in martial arts, cross country, and track and field. If not for that experience early on, I don't think I would have gravitated back to the field of health and fitness after my years spent being not-so healthy or fit!

What are your running plans for National Running Day?

How does your family get fit together?

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