Family Fitness: Jogging

I'm a single parent whose kid receives virtually no contact from the other parent, so instead I rely of the help of family and friends to survive. I work really odd hours (4ish-midnight, but I tend to stay an extra hour or two), so I do not get to spend as much time with my kiddo as I would like. Health and fitness are really important to me so I try to incorporate it into daily life when at all possible.


Lately the kiddo has gotten into this habit of turning everything into a race. I've managed to curb it by reinforcing that not everything is a race (and that it's not nice to call people losers when we secretly let him win). This has also created a positive effect of him wanting to go running with me, but between his growing 5-year-old body and my 100lb dog this is not an easy task.

My son and I usually do a combination of walking/jogging the 3 miles from our house, around the trail, stop at the park halfway through the trail, and make our way back home. I'll admit we've been working on this since we moved into our house 2 years ago.

1. Add an incentive that will entice your child's interest to follow through

My son loves going to the park.

2. Make it a habit


3. Let them make the decisions

opportunities to practice left vs rightWe also take turns setting starting/stopping points

4. Encourage good habits/proper techniques a little at a time

In the past 2 years, by 3-year-old son has gone from walking/being carried to walking/jogging alongside me. While the repetition of these walks to the park have made his little legs strong, his excitement of watching my mom and I workout has once again piqued his curiosity and he thinks it is fun. Although my son initially wanted to race all the time, he now simply wants to "work out" with me so we share fewer races and just jog (and talk and enjoy sightseeing). I generally set a slow pace for us and continuously have to tell Anak to slow down in an effort to stretch his endurance little by little. I also throw a ton of positive reinforcement his way: "You're doing great!" "Awesome job!" "You're so strong!" "We're almost there, just a little bit more"

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