Jan / 2019

This Year, Resolve to Make Family Time Active Time

For many, January is a traditional time for setting fresh health and wellness goals to improve their lives in the new year. So, why not up your game in 2019? Marathon Kids running clubs aren’t just for schools—they’re for anyone and everyone, including families that want to get and stay healthy together! If you’re looking for a way to be active with your family, why not start your own Marathon Kids at Home running club? Setup is quick, easy and affordable, and the benefits of regular running or walking with your kids are immeasurable.

Meet the Trammel Family

Take it from Katara Trammel, a Kempner, Texas, mother, teacher and mentor at The Homeschool Mommy. Trammel first learned about Marathon Kids when her son, Jermal Jr., attended Taylor Creek Elementary for kindergarten. “Jermal Jr. loved running with the Marathon Kids program,” Trammel says — so much so that she decided to incorporate his new passion into their family’s summer activities as well as their home school curriculum. “I love the fact that it allows us to spend quality time doing a physical activity outside,” Trammel says, “and that it eliminates the want for screen time.”

Marathon Kids at Home

The Importance of Staying Active Together as a Family

Before Marathon Kids came along, the Trammels were already used to being active together as a family. For years they have enjoyed mountain biking, road cycling, hiking and gardening together, and they love playing sports like volleyball and football as a family, or simply playing on teams with Nerf toys. They also do taekwondo and jujitsu together. “We love anything that raises our heart rates for at least 30 to 45 minutes,” Trammel says. “The key is to always have fun!”

Trammel believes that maintaining physical health helps to promote mental health. She reports that doing something physically active helps improve her son’s mood before it’s time to start his schoolwork for the day. “Running, walking or riding his bike really allows Jermal Jr. to come inside and start our school work eager and focused.”

She feels that the importance of staying active as a family is about even more than just the physical and mental health benefits. “Believe it or not,” she says, “being active together is a time when we learn and share with each other. Even in the midst of fun, our children will talk about things that are happening in their day-to-day life. They can ask questions or just feel comfortable to make jokes and be silly — just be kids. It definitely beats having every conversation only at dinner or in a structured environment!”
Marathon Kids at Home

Advice for Other Families Wanting to be Active Together 

Here is Trammel’s advice for other families that are hoping to add more physical activity into their family time: “As a parent, don’t be afraid to get out there. Even starting with a family walk is a great beginning, and you can build up from there.” She encourages families to focus on making it fun for everyone, such as by conducting a scavenger hunt or playing I Spy along your walking or running route.

“Be encouraging throughout the activity,” she says, “even if it’s just a fast walk from mailbox to mailbox or doing a shuttle run/walk in the driveway.” (Shuttle runs are a fun interval activity that involves setting up markers at short, regular distances, such as 10 meters apart. Runners run from the starting line to the closest marker, where they touch the ground before returning to the starting line. Then they run to the next closest marker, touch the ground there, and return again, and so on.)

Trammel’s final advice for developing a lasting healthy habit as a family? “Plan it. Put it on the calendar! When we write it down and everyone in the family knows, someone tends to remind the family, and it keeps us all accountable. Kids get excited about fun activities with the ones they love!”

Ready to Start Your Own Family Run Club? 

kids run club

Families that participate in Marathon Kids at Home work together to reach a total of 104.8 miles — the equivalent of four marathons. By tracking their progress as a group, one walking or running mile at a time, families establish healthy habits together and discover that they can achieve more than they ever thought possible.

Marathon Kids provides the framework, resources and rewards, and each Marathon Kids at Home family takes it from there, determining their own schedule, pace and method of movement. Running, walking, skipping, strolling, taking the dogs around the block — it all counts!

Marathon Kids at Home registration is just $20 per participant (shipping and handling included; parents can choose whether to pay for the whole family or only for the children). The registration fee includes four Nike incentives — one for each 26.2 miles achieved. Have questions? Reach out to programs@marathonkids.org — or simply register your family and start logging miles today!