Advice by Sport
It’s 2022, and Hong Kong has experienced the 5th wave of covid. The impact on families with children keeps increasing, especially after the announcement of the early summer holidays. With kids staying at home, sports facilities and playgrounds closed, and strict social gathering rules, parents only can do little things to keep their kids physically and mentally healthy.
But before you give up and drop a tablet into their palms, think of what else you can do for the health of your kids and your family. How can we bond and keep the family active during this stressful time?
Unfortunately, the lifestyle changes caused by the coronavirus pandemic resulted in more and more children becoming obese. Running is a great way for parents to incorporate the 60 minutes of daily activity recommended for kids. When kids run, they create a regular exercise habit, which will benefit them both mentally and physically for life.
If your kids are not naturally athletic or used to regular training, you can’t expect them to be immediately excited about the prospect of running with you. The most important thing is not focusing on speed or covering specific distances but on having fun.
1. Get them excited about it
Maybe buy them new kids running shoes and let them know it’s a really grown-up thing to do. They are running just like mum and dad.
2. Get them involved
Kids love to feel important, so assign responsibility to maintain their interest. For example, let them use their stopwatch or timer, so they are controlling the session.
3. Let them set the pace
Let your kids decide when they speed up and when they slow down. Let them take walking breaks if they feel tired. Don’t push for more until they are ready or want more.
4. Watch your language
A supportive attitude is crucial if we want kids to want to run. Encouragement and praise foster a positive connotation with running.
5. Turn running into a game
Try not to mention running if your child dislikes it at first. Instead, try to be more creative and come up with games that incorporate running. These are great for building endurance, in addition to being fun.
6. Offer incentives
Motivate your kids to run by offering incentives such as stickers and trophies or let them choose what they want to do as a reward - eat ice cream, buy some candy etc.
Running with kids has not only a positive impact on their physical, social and emotional health but on yours too. The time spent together provides an opportunity to truly connect with your kids and bond as a family.
Running with your kids is also a great way to forget about covid and the frustration of being stuck at home trying to balance personal life, work, and raising children. It enables parents to enjoy quality time with their little ones and helps the little ones to do what they love to do - having fun!