One of my greatest challenges as a mom is keeping my kids active during the summer months. Fall, winter, and spring you’ll find us hiking, biking, and enjoying time outdoors together. Come summer, I struggle to leave the comfort of air conditioning. The heat makes me lazy and I try to convince myself that living room wrestling matches and Just Dance marathons are sufficient forms of exercise. Then I start to see that laziness spread to my kiddos and my husband, and soon the whole house is content with hours upon hours of screen time.
This year I’m done using the summer heat as an excuse to loaf. I’m making a choice to be a positive example for my kids and I’m trying something new to help keep me accountable: Marathon Kids.
You’re probably familiar with Marathon Kids’ school-based program. Their mission is to improve the health of children by providing them with the tools, motivation, and support to live happier, healthier lifestyles. Participation gives kids a better shot at getting enough daily physical activity, which leads to better academic performance and behavior. My older son has run with his school club for four years now. He’s so proud to receive his t-shirt and other rewards every year. The realization that those trips around the track added up to marathons-worth of miles is pretty amazing!
Now families can access Marathon Kids’ tools and support at home by starting their very own running and walking clubs. The goal of the at-home kit is to establish healthy habits as a family by moving to reach 104.8 miles together. Marathon Kids provides the framework, rewards, and resources, but the implementation is totally up to you. Your family’s method of movement–whether it’s running, jogging, skipping, strolling, hiking, or dog-walking–is your family’s choice. The schedule and pace are up to you, as well. There’s even an optional healthy eating component, which encourages kids (with the help of fun Fuel Logs) to try new fruits and vegetable to fuel their bodies and minds.
Start a Running Club at Home
Starting your own club is easy. The whole process took me about ten minutes. You’ll need to decide on a team name before getting started, as well as a start date and end date. With my five year-old’s short attention span, my Great Dane’s creaky joints, and the smoldering temperatures, we’re going to take our time. As my husband likes to say, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint!” We’re excited to meet the challenge of 104.8 miles together, as a team, cheering each other along the way.
Marathon Kids Kit
Ready to get started? Running Club registration is just $15 per family member, plus the cost of shipping the Marathon Kids kit to your home. Free Fun in Austin readers can use the coupon code freefuninaustin to receive a discount!
Your Marathon Kids kit will include:
- Participant rewards (tee shirt, shoelaces, shoe tags, and bracelets)
- A detailed Family Guide with tips and resources
- Mileage logs to track progress (one for each of four marathons)
- Access to specialized support from a dedicated Marathon Kids staff person
- Access to additional online resources via the “Coaches Club”
- Fuel logs to encourage healthier food choices alongside increased activity
- Session cards with warm-up, cool-down, and stretching suggestions
- Printable, personalized running bibs
Plus, you can track your progress via the Marathon Kids app on iPhone, which syncs with the Nike+ app.
Custom Nike Shoes Giveaway
Enter to win a custom pair of Nike running shoes from Marathon Kids (a $200 value)! Six lucky winners will also be awarded a Marathon Kids Nike drawstring backpack! Winners will be selected at random on Wednesday, July 27, 2016 and contacted by email. Email addresses will be shared with Marathon Kids. Official rules. One entry per person, please.