Running for kids: everything you need to know

Physical exercise is excellent for children. In fact, the WHO recommends that children engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity daily, especially aerobic exercise. Running in particular not only allows them to stay in shape but also helps them release energy, strengthens their bones and stimulates their motor skills. Therefore, you can take your children to run with you.

The benefits of running for children

Reduces the risk of obesity

Running is a great exercise to regulate body weight in children. In fact, children who run have been shown to have a lower risk of becoming overweight or obese. This is because when little ones run, they burn excess calories and fat that would otherwise accumulate in the body.

They reduce the chances of suffering from some inherited diseases

Many of the diseases that children suffer in childhood have a high hereditary component. However, it has been shown that practicing some type of physical activity can reduce the risk of developing pathologies such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.

Running children

Improves the cardiovascular system and respiratory

Running is a great exercise to increase the respiratory capacity of children and stimulate their cardiovascular resistance. In fact, running has been shown to be very effective in preventing or reducing the intensity of symptoms of illnesses such as the flu, asthma, pneumonia, and even some heart conditions.

Increase your muscle mass and strengthens your joints

Running is an excellent exercise to increase bone density and joint flexibility in children. It is also very effective in stimulating cartilage growth, while helping to tone and strengthen the legs, abdomen, back, and arms.

Stimulates their psychological and social development

Running is not only beneficial for physical health but also for the psychological development of children. Some studies have found that running boosts children’s self-esteem and self-confidence, while improving their social skills and helping them make new friends.

When to start running?

  • Until age 5. Pediatricians and trainers recommend that children do not start running until after age 5, since running requires a certain degree of physical and postural maturity that the child does not develop until it reaches this age. Starting earlier would expose him to too high a risk of physical injury.
  • From 5 to 8 years old. During these years you can make running part of the game and the child’s daily activities. The objective is not for him to master the running technique but to develop his skills little by little and in a fun way. This will begin to exercise your legs, increase your lung capacity, and strengthen your heart.
  • From 8 to 12 years old. At this age, children tend to focus on reaching goal, so they run very hard and run out halfway. For this reason, it is the ideal moment to show them some techniques of the race and teach them to dose their forces. In this way you will also avoid possible injuries.
  • From 12 years of age onwards. From this age the child’s body has already reached a remarkable development, but even so it does not recommends that you undertake long runs. It is better to increase the distance gradually, as he assimilates the specific techniques of running.

Five useful tips to get your child into running

  1. Make running a game for your child, a fun and pleasurable activity that he wants to practice.
  2. Take him to practice running outdoors, preferably where he can be in direct contact with nature.
  3. Adapt the intensity of the race to the physical conditions of the child, do not ask for more than what it can give because it could be injured.
  4. Choose comfortable clothes and shoes that make the race easier.
  5. Commit to a healthy and balanced diet, rich in fruits, vegetables and carbohydrates, so that the child replenishes the energy lost during the race.