Sunday 25 February 2018

Kids on the run: Family friendly fitness

Family fitness is child’s play.

Many of the women participating in the 2017 Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon are training with their family. Mothers, daughters, sisters and aunties from all around Ireland are descending on Dublin on June 5th to take part together.

For many women, this will be their first time getting involved in exercise and fitness in years. What better way to instil a good relationship with fitness in your children than by getting them involved in your training.

While your kids mightn’t be able to run a 10k just yet, there are plenty of ways to boost your training and help your children get interested in fitness. Not to mention, a session with the kids will be really fun!

Here are some ideas for getting the kids involved in family fitness fun:

Join in!

The best way for your kids to get into running is by joining their local athletic club. By joining a club, they will learn the right way to stretch, warm up and cool down as well as building up their speed and distance while having so much fun along the way. Through progressing with the club and taking part in races, your kids will grow in confidence and foster a love for running which could last a lifetime. Do your part for your children’s athletic club by offering to volunteer or fundraise. You could even join up yourself and treat the training as part of your preparation for the 2017 Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon!

Dancing queen

With the Zumba boom in the last few years, dancing as a form of fitness is back at the forefront of our minds. Bring it back to the 80s by hosting your own kids’ disco. Ask your kids to suggest their favourite songs and make a playlist for the night. Invite all their friends around for the ultimate disco bash. Dancing is a great form of aerobic exercise which has serious benefits for your heart and improves your balance as well as overall strength. Just be warned, the kids might be embarrassed by your cringey grown-up moves!

Out and about

In Ireland, we are blessed with so many outdoor attractions from sandy beaches and hill walks to national parks and gorgeous gardens. Surprise the kids by taking them on a hike up a mountain in your area. Hiking is a weight-bearing exercise so it will boost your bone density and improve your overall aerobic fitness. Taking in the beautiful scenery and being out in the open air when visiting a local beach or park is great for your mental health and will lift your mood. Make sure to take a picnic along to enjoy after your walk and plenty of water for those thirsty little hill climbers!

After dinner

Being healthy is all about developing fitness habits that will last a lifetime. Something as simple as introducing a short walk into your routine after dinner is a great way to make your family fitter with minimal effort and upheaval. You will get in a light training session working towards the 2017 Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon and get a chance to spend more time with your kids. Have a dog? Bring the dog along for your evening walk so every member of the family gets a chance to stretch the legs now the long evenings have started coming into summer.

Give it a go

While the focus of your June calendar has to be the 2017 Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon on Bank Holiday Monday June 5th, every child in Ireland is looking forward to another fun event – the annual school sports day. Lots of us started our fitness journey by taking part in our own school sports day all those years ago. Why not have a family sports day training session in the back garden? No equipment needed – gather up some spuds and spoons then dust off the sacks then you are good to go. You will have so much family fun together not to mention, your kids will have a head start when their sports day rolls around!

Chat with Vee, Vhi’s running chatbot on Facebook Messenger. Whether you’re looking to start running, or for motivation to keep running, Vee is full of tips, recipes and information to help you on your running journey!

For further information on the 2017 Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon visit or follow on Facebook and Twitter.

Sponsored by: Vhi Mini Marathon

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