It’s a challenge these days to get kids off their video game consoles and get them to slip on their
sneakers to take a run – outside – yes, where there are trees and fresh air.

To no surprise, children’s activity levels dropped substantially during COVID-19, as kids turned to
computers to play with their friends from Zoom playdates to watching movies together and playing
video games.

But it’s a good time to get kids back outside and reignite the healthy habits that come with running for
fun, and health.

Benefits of Running for Kids

kids running a race

“Running doesn’t have to be a solitary activity,” said Hoag Sports Medicine physician Jeremiah Ray.
M.D.. “Kids can join a running group in school, start a local club, and bring people together for the team.
Children enjoy being a part of a bit of competition and challenge works wonders for kids’ confidence.”

Dr. Ray said adults understand how exercise boosts mood, helps prevent injury and illness, improves
sleep keeps our muscles and bones strong, and protects our health in the future. This goes the same for

According to The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, kids should be active for at least 60 minutes a day to help develop their coordination, maintain a healthy body weight, and improve fitness.

Where can Kids Run?

Children running on the field

Running is an ideal sport that can be done anytime, anywhere, and while many see it as a
solitary activity, it doesn’t have to be!

There are running groups that allow kids and their parents to join, find out if the schools offer a running club and check in with your city parks and recreation department
and see if they have a track club for kids.

And let’s not forget the spirit of a marathon, 10ks, 5ks, the Turkey Dash, and trots that make more
room for pie. Also, consider the holiday runs that allow runners to wear their favorite ugly sweater along with hundreds of other runners who consciously decide to get up early on a weekend morning to
run their hearts out and leave with a medal hanging around their neck.

Running is a sport for kids of all levels, not just for the fast, it’s about creating a routine, establishing it as
a habit and discovering the joy of it.

And the best part? All you need is a pair of running shoes to get started.