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How to Get Your Family to Run

Feeling lonely as a long-distance runner? Forget it! For maximum fun and fitness, you can do it with your family.

Steps:
1. Start with a walk. You can intersperse running with walking.

2. Make it informal. Most children, in particular, will respond better if they don’t see running as “training.”

3. Make it fun. Set challenges and obstacles, such as short races between markers such as trees or telephone poles.

4. Run a race together. Many events have both adult and children’s divisions.

5. Cultivate an outdoor life. Biking, hiking and just being outdoors will set the tone for running and general fitness.

6. Avoid pushing. If any family member chooses not to run or cannot keep up with the group, give that person another job, such as holding a stopwatch at a track.

7. Be a role model. Research shows that the No. 1 influence on children’s fitness habits are those of their parents.

Tips:
Start at the doctor’s office. Make sure all family members are fit and ready to run.

Run appropriate distances. If children become more serious, they should run distances of 1/2 to 1 mile. They should not run beyond 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) until age 15 or 16.

Have children focus on well-rounded training (a variety of fitness activities) before specializing in running.

Overall Warnings:
If you have any condition that would impair or limit your ability to engage in physical activity, please consult a physician before attempting this activity. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.

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