RUNNING FOR KIDS: AT WHAT AGE CAN THEY START RUNNING?
Physical education in school, playing and running are activities that are already part of childhood . This routine, which is treated as entertainment nowadays, can be a way to get the little ones to lead a life linked to exercise later and, in the future, it will be a great ally to prevent children from being sedentary .
Despite seeming at first glance to be quite a strong activity for young children, running is highly recommended for children under 12 years of age . According to various studies, young people who engage in physical activities are half as likely to become sedentary adults as those who had a “unemployed” childhood. However, it is essential to ensure that short runs do not exceed the amount of exercise they should.
1. Can children practice running?
Children can run , but not more than any other physical activity. It is natural for a child to keep moving by doing activities while playing and not interfering with his development.
It is important to understand running as a training or game , the most important thing to determine is the duration and intensity of the effort .
2. From what age can children run?
We have to understand the difference between training for a sport and doing physical activities .
The physical activity can be added to the routine of the child from the time they can do it . Generally from 3 months, many parents have pointed their babies in the pool and by the time they are two years old they already know how to do cartwheels, jump, swim on their backs and on their stomachs.
Sport is defined as permanent training focused on competition and should not be confused with physical activity, which is the practice of exercises without seeking competition.
3. When can a child train for a sport?
Children under the age of five should not do any specific training or training for a sport, including running.
Training from five to ten years has to be very short , they can run 1 km. at most and at a very slow pace . In addition, they should not be forced to perform speed competitions, but they have to understand it as games and short distances between 50 and 100 meters.
From the age of ten you can start a running training , without forgetting that it has to be light and of relatively short duration determined by the level of fatigue of the adolescent . In addition, most of the team sports that they will have been practicing include continuous running in training within their preparation.
Only from the age of 16 you can do long races of more than 5 km . and as long as the adolescent is accustomed and trained.
4. What are the risks of a child running?
It is important to understand that children and adolescents tire more easily , since glucose stores are low.
Muscle strength is also much lower compared to an adult, in this case, if the training is poorly designed and the stimulus is exaggerated, the child can develop injuries more easily and muscle aches that will be more intense.
5. When is running contraindicated for a child?
The running is not indicated for children who have problems with the heart in cases of children with asthma or bronchitis are not recommended because they may worsen with the effort of the race.
6. Benefits of running for childrens
- Cardiovascular conditioning: Running improves heart and breathing rates , helping to pump blood throughout the body.
- Strengthening the bones: Yes, running for children , when done moderately, can bring benefits to bone formation and strength .
- Improved glucose control: During exercise, the body better calculates the proportions of the substances it releases and these include glucose levels.
- Maintenance of body weight: If your child does physical activities that use enough energy, in general, he can be less concerned about a small excess in the diet . As a result, the body weight of these little ones is more suitable for their age groups.
A study conducted in the United States has shown that babies who are fit before the age of five are less likely to be overweight from eight to 11 years of age.
- Increased muscle strength: There is no doubt about the work that the leg and calf muscles do and increases their endurance . But we must pay special attention to their tendons .
To avoid injuries, the use of shoes with a good shock absorption system is recommended . So let’s avoid inheriting the slippers from older siblings, as this can be counterproductive to the physiological health of our child.
- Improved agility, balance and coordination: Regular exercise, such as running for children, can stimulate cognitive development.
- Improves the management of emotions: The energy expenditure that is achieved with running contributes to a better management of emotions such as anger or tantrums.
- Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may improve from exercise, as they tend to stay busy and absorbed by exercise.
Finally, we can say that there are several studies that have shown that when an individual begins a sport when he is young, he has half the probability of becoming a sedentary adult.
Other benefits of running in children:
- Increased flexibility and strength.
- Increased appetite
- Improves mood.
- Increased concentration and therefore school performance.
On the other hand, running two or three times a week from childhood can reduce the risk of developing heart disease , obesity, diabetes and hypertension by 20% when we are older.
7. What sports best contribute to the development of children?
The best is the variety . Especially from 2 to 5 years old. Many parents end up disappointed when their child gives up, gets bored, and doesn’t want to come back after two or three months of swimming or judo lessons. This is not bad, it is very normal and it is even good for the child to experience various activities .
Even so, the best options in terms of sports are swimming, and dance (without entering levels that require competition or sports performance).
Indoor sports would begin to be practiced from the age of seven and running can perfectly be a supplement in the form of games or as a very soft race.
8. What is the proper running exercise routine for children over 13 years of age?
Teens over 13 can train up to three times a week, 30-45 minutes . Never every day . The speed should be low and not exceed 7-9 km / h.
In addition, both for your health and for getting into the habit, it is important to always associate the practice with stretching and strengthening exercises for the muscles of the lower extremities and lower back.
Trainings should never exceed five kilometers , to avoid injuries or malformations in the tread they should be carried out on surfaces with less impact such as dirt, grass and avoid asphalt and sidewalks.
9. Tips of a running training for children
Are you interested in starting your child in a running training routine ? Take a look at the list of tips we’ve put together for the family:
9.1. Don’t prioritize competition
There are many contests and races for kids , which can be great for keeping your little one motivated. However, when sport only becomes a race for medals and awards, it loses its playful and educational goal . The important thing is to make sure your children learn a taste for sports and stay active throughout their lives. For this, it is essential that physical activity does not lose the characteristic of play, at least for children under 10 years of age .
9.2. Be careful with intensity
Children are still in a phase of physical and bone development , a strong or more intense training can hinder bone and muscle formation .
The act of force or overload on the muscles of children can cause pain, which appears more frequently at night and ends up being mistakenly considered as “growing pains” or stiffness. If the child has symptoms or pain , we should talk with our child to explain that he should decrease the intensity of physical activity . Also, we will always avoid that children under 13 years of age make routes with more than 5 km.
Children – especially those under 5 years of age – use their parents’ behavior as a parameter and a mirror to interact with the world .
If they see their parents training every day, this will become a great incentive for their children and they will love the game. On the other hand, the presence of children can be a motivating point for most adults who are still starting their training routine and thus are committed to accompanying them during running practice. These types of family moments are the ones that remain in your child’s memory for a lifetime.
9.4. Don’t do workouts, better play
Running is a natural activity for children , so it is not necessary that this activity has the same rigor or the same planning as adults .
It is also not recommended that they focus on improving specific performance , as well as the pressure of having to reach the goals that can make the little ones frustrated and do not want to play the sport again .
The defined objectives of a specific training are only recommended from the age of 15 . However, having a professional in physical education after activities is good to advise on the optimal intensity of the race for each child.
10. What play exercises do we recommend for young children?
If your children are in a sedentary period , the best way to get them to run is through games . Take a look at some games that we put for you here that both children and parents can play (to lose those extra calories and get some exercise as a family).
In addition to the proposed games, if you are not a person who enjoys sport, but you want your child to do so, simply try walking every day , your child will run one place to another in its proper measure and you will get a little activity that will never hurt you, even if you do not like to play sports
10.1. Take the handkerchief
- Benefit for children: It develops cardiorespiratory capacity, sprinting, agility, logic, speed.
- Benefit parents: Burning 170 calories every 30 minutes.
10.2. Rope game
- Benefit for Children: Develops strength, balance, logic, spatial and motor coordination.
- Benefit for parents: We will burn 150 calories every 30 minutes.
10.3. Capture the Flag
- Benefit for children: It develops spatial orientation, motor coordination, logic, teamwork and creativity.
- Benefit for parents: We will burn 220 calories every 30 minutes.
- Benefit for children: Develops motor skills, balance, speed and agility.
- Benefit Parents: Burning200 calories every 30 minutes.