Children Need To Exercise More With Products Specially Made For Them

As a certified K-12 grade Health and Physical Education teacher in the State of Pennsylvania and a childcare worker I see children getting fatter.  Children need to work on the three key elements of fitness endurance, strength and flexibility.  Endurance is developed over time as children participate in aerobic activities. During aerobic activities the heart beats faster and they breathe faster.  When done regularly over time it strengthens the heart and improves the body’s ability to circulate oxygen.

Elementary schools across the United States are trying to fight the battle of the bulge.   Children need to exercise more!  It has been recommended children over the age of two get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise on most day preferably all days of the week. Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years.  Obesity among children aged 6 to 11 years increased from 6.5% in 1980 to 19.6% in 2008.  Today 1 out of 3 children are considered overweight or obese in the United States.  If the rates continue at this pace 75% of children will be overweight or obese by 2015.  Programs have been started during recess to encourage children to walk laps to earn prizes.  Recess is usually only 30 minutes so we need families to encourage their children to exercise at home as well.

I have found two products that are specially made with children exercising in mind.  They are the Youth Timex Collection Tween Digital and Timex IronKids sports watch.   Children like to see how fast or how long they exercise.  What better way to encourage children to exercise is by having their very own watch?    The Youth Timex Collection can be clipped the child’s belt loop making it easy to workout and share.  The Timex IronKids watch is the first child’s sport watch with fun colors and easy to use features.  It  comes in two colors variations  blue/black and  pink/silver.

I personally  founded the Jamison Elementary School Roadrunners running program in 2005.  To read more about starting you own running group read my blog titled “How to Start A Children’s Running Program” I am  a mother of three children ages 9, 6 and 1.  Her 9 and 6 year old girls think nothing of lacing up for a local 5K race. For Timex IronKids and Youth Times Collection Tween Digital visit Web Warez

Running Injuries

There are many running related injuries but if you train properly you can decrease your risk of getting an injury.  Stretching (before and after running) will help keep your body flexible reducing the chances of getting an injury.  When you start stretching to make sure you hit all the major muscles start stretching from the head down or the feet up.  Stretch until you feel the muscle getting tight and hold it .  Warming the muscles up before trying to run is another way to reduce injuries.  The easiest way to have a visual for this is take a rubber band and soak it cold water.  Take it out and try to stretch it chances are it will snap.  Now take another rubber band and soak it in hot water.  Take it out and stretch it.  The one soaked in hot water will stretch.  Proper footwear will also help reduce injuries since many running injuries are due to improper footwear.  If  you have pain below the hips, look at your shoes first.  How old are they?  Are they the right shoes for me?  Are they the right shoes for what you are doing?  If you feel you may have an injury then you need to stop exercising, ice the area and seek medical attention.  If you seek medical attention go to someone who works with athletes not your physician because they will be able to help you return to running sooner.  Rest and ice will cure most running injuries but it is better if you never get then in the first place.  Listen to your body as you train it will tell you something is wrong.  Often you only need to back off or take an easy day or two and it will go away.

Rest Is Just As Improtant As Training

Rest is half of your training. When you exercise you tear muscle fiber. You wont realize this because it is not painful and doesn’t hurt. When you rest the muscle tissue heals and grows. It is a simple cycle of train and rest that dictates all training for any activity at any level. Weather you are a novice runner or an elite runners you will have to train and rest. The word rest has several meaning when you are talking about training. The minutes between intervals, the hours you sleep at night or the weeks after the season ends are all rest times. Sleep is a serious part of training and staying healthy. If you are training hard you body needs the rest – 8 hours is considered best. When you are working out rest is considered the time between intervals. Your rest between intervals could consist of walking or jogging a set distance or time. The key is the time is slower than the interval which allows your body to rest before the next interval starts. The rest time during workouts will have to be shortened as you get in better shape. For example in the beginning of a season you may run 6- 800 meter repeats with a rest of 2 minutes between. But as the season ends you may do the same 6- 800 meters with a 200 meter rest between. The final form of rest dealing with training is the weeks after a season ends. It is also important you take a couple of weeks off after a season. By the end of a season you are often ready to take a break from training. This helps your body recover and get ready for the next season.

Running in the Family Genes- Paige Daugherty

Paige showing everyone her first medal

In the fall of 2006 Paige asked to run a 1 mile fun run race  at the age of three.  Running at a young age was not a real surprise to us since her big sister started running 1 mile fun runs at three.  However Paige had shown no interest in running before this   On November 25, 2006 she ran a 1 mile fun run at a local race.  She started the race slow at the first turn she was in last place.  Paige knew to start slow from years of hearing her Dad (who coaches the Boys cross-country  at our  H.S.) tell his cross-country team go out slow.  By half was she pasted about 25 children.  By the finish she was 4th girl and 13th out of about 50 children.  The race was actually only 3/4 mile but she ran the entire thing with only two very brief stops (to look for traffic at road crossing).  In the spring of 2007 she ran her first full 1 mile race.  While running with her Dad she started to complain about the rain.  To make it fun they started to jump in all the puddles to see who could make the biggest splashes.  As the race ended “Dad” was soaked and Paige laughing because she soaked him.  Paige is our second daughter so she tries to keep up with her big sister.  She was surprised to find out she was third in the 8 and under age group (at the age of three) and ran 1 second slower than her big sister at the same age.

Paige finishing

Late May of 2010 Paige asked to go out for a three-mile run.  As of that time her longest run was 1 mile.  My husband challenged Paige “if you run 2 miles without stopping we will get ice cream or Slurpees”.  I ran the 2 miles with her.  She talked the entire time and ran the second mile 1 minute faster I guess the thought of getting ice cream helped.  As soon as she saw her Dad, big sister and little brother about 1/4 mile from home she proudly told them we are getting slurpees.  She enjoyed her mixed flavored Slurpee.  Two weeks later she ran a local 5K race.  The race was held on a hot Friday evening.  But that didn’t stop Paige from running  and talking the entire race without stopping.  The runner in front of her said she worked hard to stay ahead of Paige because she couldn’t let a little girl beat her.  She was 2nd in the 12 and under age group- first place was her big sister.  She took her medal to school the next day to tell her classmates/ teachers what she did.  Paige’s self-esteem was higher after her 5K race.  She was excited when we told her the time she ran was only two seconds slower than her big sister’s first 5K.  But it took her several 5K races to run without stopping. Paige did it on her first try!  Now she did something before big sister.   Look out Girls Cross Country team competitors in 2017 the Daugherty girls are coming.

Running in the Family Genes – Shelby Daugherty

Shelby shows everyone her ribbon

This is the story about how our oldest daughter started running and parts are funny. One Saturday in April 2004 while at a local 5k race. our daughter Shelby approached us about participating in the 1-mile fun run. She saw other children getting numbers and pinning them on their tee shirts and wanted to run. My husband and I where a little skeptical about letting our three-year old run 1-mile. What would other people think? But after talking to friends who have children that run we decided to let her. She was only three and all the other children where at least double her age. She ran ¾ miles, stopped for about 10 seconds and continued running to the finish. The race was held on the roads and at the time she held our hand whenever she was walking in the street. My husband ran with her, holding her hand the entire race. After the race we asked her if her legs where sore and she responded “no my arm is”. Every 1-mile fun run after she ran the entire distance. During the races she would keep constant conversation, even chatting with spectators. As a three-year old she would tell everyone cheering, “ I’m the fastest three-year old. “ She often was the youngest in the races. Sometimes adults would have to work to keep up with her as she talked to them and encouraged them to run fast. I guess we should have realized that Shelby would develop an interest in running. At the age of 2, she would run laps around the kitchen sometimes for 10 minutes. Shelby told a local newspaper reporter who interviewed her that she runs “because I get prizes.” Besides the occasional fun run, Shelby didn’t practice or train and did no additional running other than normal age appropriate playing. She saw both her parents lacing up for runs everyday so it seemed natural to her. One day she had a temper tantrum because I wouldn’t let her come on a three-mile run with me. She wanted to run with me, I told her three miles is too much for a three-year old and she started to cry. She asked how old you have to be to run the 5k races. We told her about 6-8 years old. Little did we know that she would hold us to our words?

Shelby not slowing at the end of 5k

When she turned 6 years old she asked us about running a 5k. In August 2007 she ran her first 5k. We told her to stay with and run with a friend’s daughter who was also 6 years old. During the race she would get ahead of the other girl and then wait up. We asked her if she was tired when she waited up and she responded with “no you told me to run with her the whole race”.

Heart Rate Monitor Training For A Marathon

Using a heart rate monitor is a valuable tool in training particularly if you are training for a marathon.  The key area of fitness you will be developing while training for a marathon is endurance.  This can be challenging because the athlete has to slow things down from their normal faster pace to effectively develop aerobically.  This means running with your heart rate rather than trying to be the fastest in your training group.  Whether your goal is to run a fast marathon or finish, using a heart rate monitor is a key to smarter training.

Heart rate zone training is not as hard to figure out as you may think.  In simple words you use your heart rate to help train in the correct energy system or zone you are going to race in.  Training for a 10k uses a different energy source or heart rate zone then training for a marathon.  The marathon requires an emphasis on aerobic endurance while the 10k requires more speed.  You will need to train at the aerobic threshold.   A common mistake runners make is training in a zone that has nothing to do with their goal race.  In marathon training/racing it is so sub-maximal that it is very easy and tempting to go faster.  But going faster is a huge mistake because if has no benefits at all.  It will only make you feel wasted from the workout.

The formula to help determine your heart rate zone is 220 minus your age giving you your maximum heart rate (MHR).  If you take 85% and 80% of your maximum heart rate you get your target heart rate zone.  The upper limit represents 85% (MHR x 0.85) of your maximum heart rate.  The lower limit represents 80% (MHR x 0.08) of your maximum heart rate.  While you are training keep your heart rate monitor between these two numbers.  When you train with a heart rate monitor you can set your upper and lower limits that represent your heart rate zone.  The heart rate monitor will beep letting you know if you are going to fast (above your upper limit) or to slow (below your lower limit).  Since you will know instantly if you are above or below your target heart rate zone you can adjust your pace accordingly.

Training within your target zone will help your body adjust to the pace you will be running for your marathon.  If you start your marathon to fast the result could be walking by mile 20.  I personally trained for the Philadelphia Marathon twice.  The first year I ran the beginning to fast.  By mile 17 I was walk/running.  The next year I was in the same shape but trained with a heart rate monitor within my target zone.  I wore it during the marathon race to keep me within my target zone early in the race.  I ran the first 17 miles over a minute per mile slower but my final time was 35 minutes faster finishing with a personal best time of 3:17 which qualified her for the Boston Marathon.For a selections of heart rate monitors visit Web Warez

How to start a School Age Children’s Running Group

Over 32% of children are overweight or obese in the United States. Several elementary schools have started running program to help lower the obesity rate among school age children. By following these simple guidelines you could have a running group started in no time and at next to no cost.
Have you ever wanted to help your child get in shape for a sport, or loss weight? Why not start a running group to help your child and any other child in the school do the same? The group will help the children progress from walking to running at a pace that’s right for each child and help prepare them to comfortably finish the 1 mile fun run/ 5K race. The children will have a period of time they run followed by a period of time that they walk. The first thing to do is to make sure all participants have an updated physical and parental permission to participate in a running group. You should write a letter explaining why the group is being started and not let anyone run if the form is not signed.
Parent’s challenge your child and run the race with them!!! Finishing is the most important thing. To help encourage the children let them name the new group. You should also find a local race with a 5k and fun run. This way the children that advance quickly can take the 5k challenge while others run the 1 mile.
Begin the session with about 15 minutes of stretching. The stretching should not be ballistic or bouncing in style. It is better to stretch and hold it for about 20 seconds. The children could run at there own pace or partner up with a friend. Make sure to emphasize they should be able to talk clearly without huffing and puffing while they run. I they can’t talk they are running to fast and should slow down. If the child can’t run the entire “run time” encourage then to walk quickly. Emphasize the goal is to finish not race.
The children run in a field or parking lot that has a coned off area. They run the coned area like they would run around the track (continuously the same loop). Blow a whistle to indicate the time to run and yell run. Blow the again to indicate it is time to walk and yell walk. The cycle continues until the activity is complete.

Program Overview- Workouts
Week 1 – Run 1 minute followed by walk 1 minute continuing this rotation until the total time is about 20 minutes.
Week 2 – Run 2 minutes followed by walk 1 minute continuing this rotation until the total time is about 20 minutes.
Week 3 – Run 3 minutes followed by walk 1 minute continuing this rotation until the total time is about 20 minutes.

Continue adding 1 minute a week to the running time. If the group is adjusting quicker add 2 minutes.

Pam founded the Jamison Elementary School Roadrunners running program in 2005. The club consisted of children grades K-6 that attended the school age childcare program at Jamison Elementary School in Jamison Pa.