Encourage your kids to run.
Scroll down and read the block quote for the most import information in this post.
First some back ground, Adrian was in running club when he was in elementary school. (It was very different from the running club Luna has been in the past 2 years.) He ended up being in track in high school and he was quite the runner. He was built like a runner. I often describe him as a “bean pole”. Luna has always looked up to Adrian, I recognize the pun but seriously she idolizes him.
Luna found out about running club at her school and wanted to join. I encouraged her. I was grateful for her interest and the opportunity to improve her fitness.
Your brain is dependent on your heart and cardiovascular fitness improves your brain processing speed. So it is not just about being healthy, it is about improving your brain.
Luna, however, is not built like a runner. She is short and stout. So I sought out to learn whatever I could to help her. I wanted to help her feel like a winner and stick with it. She did get disappointed at times because she was singled out as being one of the slowest kids. We learned she was built more for endurance and she could run long past the time other kids quit and were walking.
I got the audible book “Running Like a Girl notes on learning to run” by Alexandra Heminsley. I was hoping to learn something I could pass on to Luna. After listening to “Get Up!” I decided to listen to “Running Like a Girl” only on my walks. It was incentive to walk every day if that was the only time let myself listen.
It was this book that made me realize I could learn to be a runner. So I started incorporating running into my walks.
In the beginning when I was just walking, when the girls would walk with me, I would let them run to the next drive way and tell them to do something like 5 jumping jacks when they got there. Then I would catch up. So on they would run to the next drive way and do 5 squats. I would give each girl a chance to pick the exercise that the other girl would have to follow. They would do lunges, jumping squats, jumping lunges, hopping on one foot, just anything we could think of. The girls really enjoyed themselves and I knew I was helping them do something very good for their health.
Last week I took Katie and Séamus to the park. Katie made a friend on the playground and they were playing quite nicely. This girl was less than an inch shorter than Katie. She was telling Katie, “Slow down I’m smaller than you I can’t run that fast.” Katie took her hand and tried to pull her faster. I asked her how old she was and she was 4 the same age as Katie. It was at that moment that I realized the interval training we were doing in our neighborhood had made a big difference. Katie was faster and had more energy than other kids her age. I felt like “Super Mom”.