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Running Health and Fitness for Kids
Everyone needs daily exercise for good health, including kids. If your parents exercise regularly, you probably see them running or walking to stay active. Some of your exercise probably comes from just being active outdoors and playing with friends. You can also get exercise if you participate in sports teams such as baseball or track. If you like to run, you could start a training program to increase your endurance. Some kids even train for half or full marathons.
There are lots of good reasons to exercise. When you exert yourself physically, you are getting aerobic exercise. This type of exercise causes you to breathe harder and your heart to beat faster. Aerobic exercise makes your heart stronger, and it pumps oxygen to every part of your body. Physical exercise also makes your muscles stronger, which makes you stronger and healthier in general. Daily exercise uses the calories you eat in a good way, which helps ensure that you maintain a healthy weight. If people don’t get enough exercise, they may gain too much weight. Carrying too much weight is hard for your heart and other organs.
- To know if you are exercising effectively, try this simple test: While exercising, you should be able to talk but not sing. If you can sing, bump your intensity up a notch.
- Bone-strengthening exercises are especially important for kids while still growing.
- Engaging in stretching exercises helps improve flexibility, which helps you avoid injuries.
Doctors have concluded that kids need at least 60 minutes of exercise every day. This might sound like a lot, but you can get a lot of this exercise just by being active outdoors with your friends. Taking the dog for a walk or playing basketball at the park are two easy ways to get some exercise every day. Activities like running or jumping rope are also important because they help make your bones strong. For good health, you should try to do bone-strengthening exercise at least three times every week.
- As you work to build running endurance, try to run a little further each time you run.
- Playing running games like “red light/green light” can make running fun.
- Relay races are another way to build endurance as you run on a team.
- Water is the best drink for your body when you exercise. Your body needs fluid to stay energized and healthy.
Running can be surprisingly fun, whether you do it as a member of a team, with friends, or by yourself. It’s important to run safely and carefully so you don’t injure your body. Overdoing it and running too much can cause painful injuries. Warming up with stretches helps prepare your muscles for running. After you finish, always cool down to help your muscles recover. Some people like to jog, which is slower running with the entire foot hitting the ground. Faster running might be a goal you wish to set for yourself. Running at a faster speed usually means that your heel doesn’t touch the ground because your feet touch down at the middle and then roll up to the balls before pushing off again. As you run, try to keep your arms bent and swinging at the sides of your body.
- Get Active
- Ways to Be Active
- Exercise for Children
- Girls’ Track (Video)
- Why Kids Should Eat Healthy and Exercise (Video)
- How Much Activity Do Kids Need?
- Active Children and Adolescents
- Healthy Kids, Healthy New York: After-School Initiative Toolkit (PDF)
- Fitness for Kids Who Don’t Like Sports (PDF)
- Physical Fitness and Sports: 14 Ways for Kids to Increase Physical Fitness and Awareness
- Fit for Life
- Kids Walk and Run to Fitness
- New Evidence on Kids and Exercise
- How to Learn to Like Running
- Strength and Conditioning for Kids: How and Why?
- Helping Young Runners Develop (PDF)
- A Parent’s Guide to Fitness for Kids Who Hate Sports (PDF)
- Running Tips for Children and Adolescents (PDF)
- Children and Marathoning: How Young Is Too Young? (PDF)
- Physical Activity in Children and Adolescents (PDF)
- Youth Movement
- Sharing the Thrill of Running
- Is Running Good for Children?
- Make Running Fun
- Tips From the Centre for Children’s Running (PDF)
- Running and Dodging (PDF)
- Run for Something Better Training Guide (PDF)
- Drills and Techniques to Develop Cross Country Athletes in Practices and Meets (PDF)
- Fun Fitness Ideas for Kids (PDF)
- Training Guide and Activities Booklet (PDF)
- ABCs for Fitness Teacher Manual (PDF)
- Why Exercise Is Cool
- Kids Marathon Training Packet (PDF)
- Focus on Fitness (PDF)
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