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Tips on How to Get Your Whole Family Into Running

Image2With the warm summer weather in full effect, there is no better time to break out your favorite men’s running shoes and get the family outside to enjoy the beauty and tranquility only Mother Nature can provide.

Whether you are chasing specific goals or achievements like competing in a local 5k run or simply want to encourage your entire family to spend more time outdoors, there are many fun and productive ways to get your family motivated and excited about the world of running.

Introducing Children to Running

Like any other form of exercise, running needs to be a fun and enjoyable outlet for kids, especially for children under the age of 10. For toddlers and children under 6, simple games like tag, running with the dog around the yard, or mini races to the mailbox will be the ideal low-key way to get them moving.

As your children get older, they will be able to tackle longer distances. Children 10 and over can begin participating in 5k runs, with frequent periods of walking throughout the race as needed, while teenagers can turn their attention to 10k marathons once they are confident in their athletic abilities. Long-distance marathons and ultra-runs should be avoided until they are adults.

Alternatively, tackling nature trails and park runs is a fantastic way for the entire family to enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature while remaining active.

Supreme Tips

For parents wanting to incorporate more family-friendly exercise into their daily routines, there are several productive ways to get the entire family on board with new healthy habits.

Customize Your Family Fitness Goals

You may be a seasoned runner trying to get the rest of the family outside or a complete beginner looking for fun ways to spend more quality time together. But every person chooses to exercise for their own reasons, and your fitness goals may differ from member to member.

When planning your running trails and exercise, it is vital to consider the fitness levels and goals of everyone involved to ensure that the activity is fun and manageable for all. As important as it is to include your children in the planning stage, your significant other should also get a chance to select running routes, intensity levels, and training times to suit their schedule, fitness level, and motivation.

Finding time to spend together can be a rarity for many parents trying to navigate work and home life. However, choosing running opportunities that accommodate you both in terms of your pace and stamina, which might require you both to compromise slightly, is a wonderful way to enjoy a shared experience while still getting in a healthy dose of exercise.

Kind-Friendly Fun

When introducing children to physical exercise, it should never be presented as a chore they have to complete but rather as a fun and playful activity they get to participate in. Your ultimate goal should be to make running a healthy but pressure-free habit, with total freedom to occasionally stray away from the traditional structure.


This can be done by giving your children the opportunity to choose where to run, like the local playground or a nature trail they love. Swapping the road for an afternoon in Mother Nature reframes exercise as a fun family adventure.

Prioritize Your Preparations

Before heading outside, it is important to prioritize your preparation to ensure the location you have selected is safe and manageable for the entire family. Narrow running trails and challenging terrain can quickly deter less experienced family members from joining in next time.

Additionally, it is crucial to check that everyone has the right gear. This doesn’t mean you need to embark on a costly shopping spree beforehand, but every family member should have the appropriate clothes and shoes to guarantee their comfort and safety while running.

Prepare for Rest Breaks

When planning your family run or jog, remember to include intermittent rest breaks. These breaks, especially in places like a local playground or public sports oval, can be a game-changer, providing the perfect opportunity for the family to rest and recover before continuing their fitness journey.

It is vital to encourage toddlers and young children to walk frequently to strengthen their bones and maintain heart health early on in life, but young kids will naturally have lower stamina rates compared to older members of the family.


Consider including a small collection of healthy snacks for children to sit down and eat before completing a couple of jumping jacks to get re-energized and carry on. This simple strategy will keep family activity manageable, enjoyable, and energy-filled.

Reward Effort

There is nothing better than enjoying a delicious ice cream during a day out with the family, but food-based rewards should be limited, as they will start to become counterintuitive. Adults can comprehend the concept that exercise is its own reward, but this can be difficult for children to understand.

Instead, teach your children to understand the connection between physical exercise and its mood-boosting and health benefits. Support and praise your children for genuine effort as they progress instead of solely focusing on long-term accomplishments like winning a race.

Most children greatly benefit from reward systems tailored to their personality and age, like sticker charts or a points system for spending time outside. These points can work towards a larger reward, like a toy they may want, or a fun family adventure, like a day at the beach or a trip to an amusement park.