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Getting fit and healthy as a family

Sponsored by The Color Run presented by Sahtak Awalan: Your Health First

Maintaining an active lifestyle with the whole family is a great way to set a healthy example for your kids. But where do you start? With the kids intently focused on homework, and mums and dads focusing on work and duties at home, it isn’t easy to fit in exercise for yourself, let alone as a family. 

So how do you teach your children about the impact of being healthy for the long term, well into adulthood? Try something that the whole family can enjoy—running. Here's how you can get the family started:

Go slow

For children from the age of seven and up, you can incorporate slow and fast running along with walking to make it more manageable for kids. This also makes it more manageable for adults who are new to running. Start by having fun, moving your feet and getting your heart rate up, and as you start to get used to running, set goals to run for a certain number of metres. According to Jeff Galloway, former Olympian, and Runner’s World columnist, “Start with a quarter of a mile. Every week, add a minute or two until you both can complete a mile. If your kid is having a blast, keep adding time until you're up to 3.5 miles—at that point, you can talk about run/walking a 5K together.”

Good for your children’s mental health 

According to Sylvia Rimm, a psychologist and director of the Family Achievement Clinic in Cleveland, “There’s nothing better for dissipating anxiety than exercise. There are a lot of anxious kids out there, and anxious parents, too, and one of the best forms of relaxation is not medication, but exercise.” 

Exercise will help to use up all that extra energy your kids have and, at the same time, give you a much-needed boost of energy.

Throw in a treat now and then

To encourage yourself and your family to run together, it can help to occasionally use a reward to keep the family motivated. Whether it’s a monthly ice-cream or a family outing, rewarding yourself and your family will make setting and achieving goals more satisfying. It will also teach your children about making sacrifices, setting goals and staying healthy well into adulthood.


The Color Run presented by Sahtak Awalan: Your Health First, taking place on 27 January at the Qatar National Convention Center, is the perfect way to start your running journey with something fun. Participants can choose to run, walk, jog or skip around the five-kilometre course with their family and friends. Says organiser Greg Sproule, “The Color Run presented by Sahtak Awalan: Your Health First is the ultimate way to kick-start your personal and family fitness journey, and many people continue to run 5Ks throughout the year after completing the event. Fitness fanatics partake in the event as do beginners and intermediate runners, so this is the ideal way to start running with a whole lot of fun thrown in. Learn more and sign up at thecolorrun.qa.

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