This post is written in partnership with the Rising New York Road Runners
As a parent to two very active kids I can attest to the fact that I feel like I am usually running on empty. And that was always my excuse for not finding the time to fit exercise into my life. Then both of my parents passed away at the tender ages of 68 years old and something clicked inside of me–the realization that our bodies can’t sustain us unless we treat them right. And so I started to exercise. A little bit every day. And you know what they say? “Kids will do as you do and not as you say” well, my kids started exercising too.
First we took brisk walks followed by family bike rides and then we decided it would be fun to encourage our kids to join a FUN RUN. Not only did they have fun – but it changed the trajectory of their fitness futures! Because of that local Staten Island FUN RUN my daughter joined the track team and my son followed suit. Which is why I am so excited to partner with the Rising New York Road Runners at Clove Lakes Park October 7 and invite kids on Staten Island to attend these fun, free fitness games and cross country runs in Clove Lakes Park!
This event is open to boys and girls of all ages and ability levels, so bring out the whole family to get active. All stages will participate in skill-appropriate activities before a cross country run.
So what can kids look forward to at the Rising New York Road Runners at Clove Lakes Park October 7? Activities open at 9:00 a.m. and kids are broken down into different stages!
Stage 1: If your child is new to physical activity or running, but likes playing games and being active parents should sign them up for STAGE 1. It is for ages two to 10 and will feature: non-competitive, untimed shorter distances and fitness activities. Stage 1 boys and girls runs begins at 10:20 a.m.
Stage 2: If your child likes running, but isn’t ready for a competitive event and/or your child likes playing games and being active parents should sign them up. It is for ages 8 to 18 and will feature non-competitive games, untimed medium distance runs and fitness activities.
Stage 2 Girls will run at 9:30 a.m. 1 mile Stage 2 Boys will run at 9:40 a.m. 1 mile
Stage 3: If your child is comfortable running a longer distance and racing other kids in a competitive setting, parents should sign them up! It is for ages 12 to 18 and will feature competitive, timed longer distance runs and fitness activities.
Stage 3 Boys will run at 10:20 a.m. 1.5 miles
Stage 3 Girls will run 10:00 a.m. 1.5 miles
Exercise and participating in events with the Rising New York Road Runners has become our family’s way of unwinding and spending time together as a unit and hopefully for families that choose to attend it will be the gateway to starting their own kids on the path to becoming physically fit and as healthy as they can be.Still on the fence about signing up your kids for the Rising New York Road Runners at Clove Lakes Park October 7 here are 4 important reasons to encourage exercise for your kids:
1) It keeps kids physically fit and at ideal body weight. Being overweight or obese in childhood has become a serious problem. Many things add to this epidemic, but a big part of it is that kids are becoming more sedentary. In other words, they're sitting around a lot more than they used to. Kids and teens now spend hours every day in front of a screen (TVs, smart phones, tablets, and other devices) looking at a variety of media (TV shows, videos, movies, games). Too much screen time and not enough physical activity add to the problem of childhood obesity. So get your kids out or at the gym and exercising.
2) Physical activity fosters academic achievement. Physical activity promotes positive mental health. Physical activity affects a child’s academic achievement. It helps to improve concentration, memory, and classroom behavior. Children who meet the guidelines for physical activity have higher test scores in both math and reading, compared to those who spend less time in physical education classes. It has also been found that there is a positive relationship between aerobic fitness, learning, and memory in a group of fourth grade children and reducing physical education in schools may actually hinder academic performance for developing children. Even occasional aerobic exercise of moderate intensity is helpful.
3) It strengthens the heart and lungs The heart is a muscle. Like other muscles, its performance improves when it's regularly challenged by exercise. The heart responds to exercise by becoming stronger and more efficient. Strengthening the heart muscle can help ward off heart disease — the leading cause of death in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services — even in early childhood. Working hard also increases lung capacity, and their efficiency in moving air in and out of the body. As a result, more oxygen is drawn into the body and more carbon dioxide and other waste gases are expelled. Regular exercise helps prevent the decline in oxygen intake that occurs naturally with age or as a result of inactivity.
4) It enhances emotional well-being. Most people report that they feel calm and have a sense of well-being after they exercise. Exercise, according to one theory, releases beta-endorphin, a natural substance in the body that is hundreds of times more potent than morphine. Another theory points to serotonin as the cause of the exercise high. Increased levels of serotonin in the central nervous system are associated with feelings of well-being, heightening of appetite, and lessening of mental depression. The weight loss that accompanies exercise can also cause people to feel better about themselves.
So what are you waiting for? Join the Rising New York Road Runners at Clove Lakes Park October 7!