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Running is one of the world’s great pastimes and many of us have a specific reason for doing it. It could be to get fit, it could be to relieve stress, or it could be something entirely different.
It’s a pastime recommended by many healthcare professionals, and is taken up by fitness freaks, people who have been through private drug treatment, or even those just looking to lose a little bit of weight.
However, we often see it as just a solitary exercise, with some also joining running groups. But it’s rarely ever deemed a family activity. Which is a shame.
Running as a family can be a great activity for a number of different reasons, and here are just a few to try and encourage you to do it together….
It’s new found family time
It may be that one parent or both parents are already keen runners, and while you can’t exactly take a child out on a 10-miler, or certainly not initially, it can be family time that could have always been there.
For busy parents in particular, that half an hour away from your kids to get some exercise could well be precious time you’d rather spend with them, but you need to maintain your own physical fitness and mental wellbeing. But they can be combined so you are getting the best of both worlds.
It gets them into a fitness routine, that could last a lifetime
We all want our children to grow up happy and healthy, and by taking them out for a run early in their life, you’re giving them that pathway. While many may give up as they hit their adolescence, finding other activities they prefer, they could become keen runners and go on to run marathons, or at the very least stick with it as a hobby for their whole life.
What’s more, it’ll be time they look back on fondly as time spent together, perhaps even doing the same with their own children.
It’ll teach them discipline
While it’s important not to push your children hard when it comes to running, and there should always be a fun element. If they are getting into it, and they wish to continue with you as a family, it will also teach them discipline. Even if it starts as not eating that chocolate bar 30 minutes before you’re all going running, it’s a lesson taught that will have a knock on effect to the likes of school and adulthood.
It’s fun and will improve their mental health
Ultimately, they will get a buzz off the endorphins and will ensure that your children stay happy and healthy. You can create challenges along the way and get their competitive spirit working, but when it comes to the finish line, there will be smiles on their faces, and on yours. And that’s priceless.