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Parents and children alike can turn to running as a way to discover nature in a new light and have a great time together.
However, when running with children, it is important to follow some basic safety guidelines:
1. Get Ready for Your Jogging Outing and Prepare the Gear You Will Bring with You
Like every open-air activity, running depends on the weather, even in the summer. Be prepared. On every outing, bring along a backpack, windproof jacket, sweatband, sunscreen, drinks and food. Don't forget your sunglasses, disinfectant and anti-histamine cream in case you get bit or stung by bugs.
A backpack designed specifically for running is less cumbersome than a traditional backpack.
Advice: Bring two rucksacks for the adults and individual backpacks for each child. Distribute weight based on each child's age.
2. Before Departing: Have a Good, Energy Packed Breakfast Together as a Family
To have a relaxing, exercise-filled outing, prepare a well-balanced, energy-packed breakfast for the whole family. This can include dairy products, fruit, breakfast cereals, bread and proteins (ham or eggs). The first meal of the day is a great way to get started on the right foot and avoid low blood sugar or early fatigue.
3. Pay Attention to Hydration
Whatever the weather conditions, drinking is essential for both adults and children when doing any kind of sport. During a fun running outing, children can learn to make sure to save enough water so that they can drink throughout the day (their water can have a little sugar added to it).
4. Remember to Refuel
Even if you are only going for a short run, bring along solid foods to make sure you or your children do not end up with low blood sugar. Children love cereal bars, nuts and sweets, and you should bring along these products during every outing.
5. Motivate Your Children by Setting Goals Which Reflect Their Age and Level
Motor skills are different at every age. Don't think of your kids as little adults. Instead, change your pace, distance and the length of breaks based on the needs of each individual child. Running is an ideal sport for younger people, allowing them to do a different kind of recreational activity which will help stimulate and develop motor and sensory skills.
An example jogging outing with children: Start with a short run (no longer than 15 minutes). Then, walk for a bit and take a picnic break to replenish your energy. Run for a little while longer, and then take some rest breaks in which you play fun games. Start your return journey with a short run and have a little challenge after you finish!
The main goal is to have fun with your kids while bearing in mind their individual abilities and desires. The best thing is to do a variety of activities to keep them interested all day long and teach them to love running.
Running, jumping, and throwing should be the three main activities in your running outings with children under 12 years of age.
Another option: bring along a camera and teach the kids to use it so that they can take pictures of anything they want.
6. Always Remember to be Safe & Stay Protected
During the summer holiday, it is essential to protect children from the sun's powerful rays. Use waterproof, sweatproof sunscreen (at least 30 SPF) to protect their skin, sunglasses to protect their fragile eyes and special sporting apparel for outdoor activities. Running clothes should be loose and breathable. Technical fabrics will promote sweat evaporation and leave the skin dry. These items include a t-shirt, light shorts and thin socks.
Choose special technical running socks instead of cotton socks, which soak up water and leave your feet wet. When your feet are wet, rubbing can cause itchiness and chafing.
Did you know that a pair of synthetic socks or a synthetic t-shirt which is specially designed for running will dry three times faster than a pair of cotton socks or a cotton t-shirt?
7. Comfortable in Their Trainers
In order to ensure maximum comfort, "road and trail" running shoes for kids are perfectly designed for the comfort, safety, and physiology of children. They should be light and flexible and have good support to avoid sprains and a soft cushion to ensure stability when running in almost any setting.
8. Encourage Your Kids
Most importantly, make sure to encourage your kids in all of their discoveries and efforts!
Remember that running is the ideal leisure and sporting activity to do with your kids over the holidays. Whether discovering nature, learning and sharing, or developing their bodies and senses, the most important thing is to promote motivation by adapting recreational activities to the abilities of every child and to plan for your run while bearing in mind some key needs, which include food, hydration, sun protection, and running shoes and clothing.