Friday April 7 2017
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Distance Running

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What to know if your child is interested in distance running

With the availability of video games, numerous television channels and the computer, kids today have plenty of reasons to stay inside. Despite these electronic temptations, more youngsters are becoming involved in distance running than ever.

Safety is the number one issue concerning parents when weighing the benefits of involving their children in any sports. According to, there are a few matters to be aware of when allowing kids to participate in distance running.

One point to keep in mind is distance running can remain safe as long as kids are not expected to meet extreme goals by their family or coach.

Remember that the key to a child remaining interested and involved in any sport is ensuring they continue to have fun.

Another aspect to consider is children are less able to regulate their body temperatures than grown-ups are – so running longer distances in extreme hot or cold weather is not recommended for young children.

Parents can remain confident that as long as kids are not required to run excessive distances—and run in moderate temperatures—that they typically experience little more than sore muscles.

Many experts agree that kids should get at least one hour of exercise a day, and distance running is a safe and easy way for kids to stay fit and healthy.

Experts recommend children ages 3 to 5-years-old jog or run no more than one half of a mile, while kids 6 to 10 should stay under 1.2 miles.

If properly supervised and done correctly, there are numerous advantages to a child participating in distance running.

Distance running at an early age can be beneficial when playing other sports. Whether remaining involved in soccer, football, basketball or tennis, almost all organized sports require running as a fundamental training element.

Finally, the number one advantage of distance running for kids is the long-term benefits of healthy living.  If an individual develops good fitness habits at an early age, he or she is more apt to sustain a healthy lifestyle throughout adulthood.

If a child expresses interest in distance running, encourage them to research the sport and safety issues before running. Keys such as a proper warm-up routine, correct distances, speeds and terrain will help keep your young runners safe.