With summer here, kids are in full swing—sitting in their gaming chairs. Thumbs are in their best shape ever having worked their Xbox controllers with lightning speed. Their rooms are omitting an odor reminiscent of Pringles chips or maybe that is liver and onions. But, wait, they don’t eat vegetables so liver and onions is out, must be the Pringles. They haven’t permanently harmed each other in the absence of working parents, though a biting contest was alarming. It is time to grab hold of the reins and reboot your couch potatoes away from their screens. A healthful, active summer can easily be worked into your busy routines that won’t break the bank or your resolve to get your family exercising.
Many of us have caught the “running bug” and we know the feeling that running brings. But, the thought of running when you’ve always been a walker or otherwise disinterested in running can be awful. The good news is that once you get a few runs under your belt, the desire for more time spent pounding the pavement with your Nike’s is intoxicating. A “runner’s high” is the equivalent of an unexpected gift that arrives in the mail, or a great morning spent with someone you genuinely like; it’s an invigorating and thoroughly refreshing feeling. And, with proper technique and a good pair of shoes, the sport of running is inexpensive and can be done anywhere. It’s a no-brainer for parents looking for something their children can do together.
Throughout the area, there are several running clubs that you and your family can participate in year-round. From the Suncoast Strider’s Walking & Running Club, Lakewood Ranch Running Club to the Manasota Track Club, there are several options to get your kids involved in the ritual of running, something they can easily carry on into their college and adult years. If you have kids who are reluctant to exercise or who view going outside to play is a form of punishment, it can be daunting trying to infuse their days with exercise.
Thankfully, the annual Kids Summer Beach Runs series returns this week. These fun runs have become a popular mainstay in the area and are presented by Sarasota Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources, Sarasota Crew, Mommy Magazine, New Balance Sarasota, and Sharky’s on the Pier. Runs are held weekly on Tuesdays beginning June 5 at Siesta Beach, 948 Beach Road Siesta Key, and Wednesdays starting June 6 at Brohard Beach, 1600 Harbor Drive, Venice. The events are free to the community and participants receive an ice pop and ribbon after completing each run. If runners complete at least four runs, they will also receive a t-shirt. Registration is at 5:30 p.m. for both locations. Look for the sign-up area near the playground at Siesta Beach, and at the Fishing Pier for Brohard Beach. For more information, please visit www.scgov.net
In North Port, Zoomer’s Southwest Florida Running and Triathlon Club is offering youth summer runs at Imagine School at North Port beginning June 6. Kids, 16 and under are invited to come out on Wednesdays at 6:15 for a one-mile fun run. A $5 registration fee covers all four runs. Drinks and snacks will be provided to runners and their parents after each event. For more information on this running series, please visit zoomersrun.com
Photos courtesy of Deposit Photos.