Medical guidelines say that children and adolescents age 6 and older need at least an hour a day of physical activity. Most of the hour should be either moderate or vigorous aerobic activity. Do follow these tips and take care of your kids.
Kids are natural runners, but whether they’re accompanying you on a run or participating in a school program, they require special care at every step of their development. From the right shoes, to the right distance, ensuring kids will remain lifelong runners means support, encouragement, counsel, and attention to possible overuse injuries.
Following are 10 guidelines for pre-teen children and competitive athletics. These apply to all sports, including running.
1. Make sure your children know that ‘win or lose’, you love them and are not disappointed with their performance.
2. Be realistic about your child’s physical ability.
3. Help your child set realistic goals.
4. Emphasize improved performance, not winning. Positively reinforce improved skills.
5. Don’t relive your own athletic past through your child.
6. Provide a safe environment for training and competition.
7. Control your own emotions at games and events. Don’t yell at other players, coaches or officials.
8. Be a cheerleader for your child and the other children on the team.
9. Respect your child’s coaches. Communicate openly with them. If you disagree with their approach, discuss it with them.
10. Be a positive role model. Enjoy sports yourself. Set your own goals. Live a healthy lifestyle.
Nutritionist. Founder of Mind & Body Wellness Clinic. Marathon Runner.