**See the bottom of the post to check if you won the myMix giveaway, and for a special offer for everyone!**
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen some Girls on the Run pictures popping up lately. When I said back in November that I was “sure I’d find a way” to get re-involved despite traveling for work, I was already internally committed to being a coach again, and I’ve been happily coaching a small team of girls for the past few months. When I leave our practices, I can’t help but feel so inspired and happy, and I always want to share the feelings with you all!
At Girls on the Run, we spend the season working up to an end-of-season 5K. Most of the girls can’t run for more than a minute or two when we start, so just completing the distance is a huge accomplishment. However, what the Girls on the Run program brings to the girls is so much more than just physical endurance. Each week, we have a lesson with corresponding activities, discussing everything from peer pressure to body image to the value of each person being unique. It is these messages, combined with the empowerment that running and physical activity brings, that I believe truly makes a difference in the girls’ lives.
There have been several studies investigating the impact of Girls on the Run on the participants, and they show that girls have higher physical activity levels, higher physical activity commitment, higher self-esteem, are more satisfied with their bodies, exercise more, and feel more supported in exercise after just one season of Girls on the Run! (My Chicago team, trying on some of my medals to get excited)
While Girls on the Run is an amazing program, it’s certainly not the only way to get these results – and more! – for your kids. Any type of physical activity will do! I shared research concluding that fitter kids had better scores on memory tests in my post called “7 Tips for Staying Fit With Your Kids.” The Girl Scouts of America did a fantastic study (full of tons of helpful info if you’re into this stuff!) that concluded that “girls who are more physically active are more satisfied with how they look and how much they weigh, regardless of their actual weight.” There are numerous studies to show that physically active kids are less likely to be obese in adulthood, are more confident, perform better in school, sleep better, and so much more!
For all these reasons, I want to highlight a new study published in Pediatrics and reported by the BBC. The study concluded that children are “not ‘just naturally active,'” but that parents must play a role in developing their children’s fitness habits. In fact, the activity levels of the children in the study and their mothers were “directly linked.”
So, if you are a parent, let this serve as another reminder to encourage your kids to move! Whether it’s signing them up for Girls on the Run, a team sport, a dance class, or any other activity, going on a walk with the family after dinner, or dancing around in your living room, make it fun and make it happen. Your kids will thank you (if not directly, at least via their dramatically-improved future health). If you’re looking or ideas on how to fit in fitness with your kids, head back to this post.
myMix Giveaway winners!
Congratulations to the myMix winners! I’m very happy that Random.org selected two of my blogger friends, Lisa and Sara! Both will get a coupon code for a free 10-serving custom blend of myMix. I’ll email you shortly, and you’ll have 48 hours to respond.
Good news for everyone who did not win the giveaway … the myMix founders have graciously agreed to extend our giveaway through SUNDAY instead of Friday! So if you still want to get in on the 15% off action, head over to myMix and get yours!
So tell me in the comments … If you have kids, do you find that exercise improves other aspects of their lives besides just physical fitness? If you don’t have kids, were you active as a child, and how do you think this impacted you?
My kids are generally active, but there have been times when my middle school boy has been driving me crazy. So I send him out on a run or a bike ride and he always comes back in a much better mood ready to focus on homework. 🙂
Your kids are SUPER active all the time – I love it! Good idea on sending Brendan out for a run or bike ride!!!
That’s wonderful that you’re a coach with Girls on the Run. One of my best friends has been a coach for several years and absolutely loves it. And thanks for the wonderful reminder to all parents out there. It’s so important to teach our kids the importance of exercise, and the best way is to be active ourselves. =)
YES, Bre/ Ree! (Sorry, I don’t know which of you commented!). I completely agree that parents setting an example is so important to the kids!
GotR is a GREAT program. Hoping to get myself involved soon as well! Especially when my daughter is old enough!
I hope you do get involved, too, Emma! I’ve never co-coached with a mother-daughter pair, but I know of several other coaches whose daughters are in the program, and they love it!
Great post and so glad you are back involved again! I know from my own experience that whenever you can volunteer to help kids it is incredibly enriching and rewarding!
You know from my history that I was not terribly active as a kid … though I played football and tennis on the high school teams. But as I have been a runner for 25 years I have worked to instill the value of activity in my kids … so they have been engaged playing soccer, baseball, basketball and so on. More recently other actvities have taken over, but they still do some stuff as well as their gym classes.
Their feedback is similar to what I saw as a kid … unless you are naturally gifted, chances are phy ed will not be a positive experience. Too many stereotypes at play still, and too much abuse veiled as ‘coaching’ remains. I hope that changes – required school phys ed should instill a love of sport, not make it seem like a punishment.
I totally agree, Michael – it’s SO rewarding to me.
And yes, I know that you weren’t a PE lover as a kid (me either!), and as we’ve discussed before, I think a lot of the ‘standard’ PE options can be very isolating to those that aren’t natural athletes. I still haven’t been exposed to the ‘abuse veiled as coaching,’ but it sounds like a nightmare. However, I do think it’s important to have SOME kind of activity in kids’ lives! Also of such great importances is kids seeing the impact of physical activity on their parents – and I know you’re doing a great job of role modeling there!
Great post! It is so important for kids to be active. Many schools are cutting down on gym classes, and most kids are glued to the tv or a video games after school.
Im so excited about the giveaway! Can’t wait to try out the MyMix!
YES – I hate seeing schools taking away physical activity all together. As a child, I was NEVER a fan of PE, so I’m all about offering a variety of activities (not *just* the standard kickball or run-a-mile or whatever), but I hate seeing it taken away all together. Glad you’re going to get to enjoy the myMix 🙂
Girls on the Run is an amazing program. I tried to get involved this Spring, but it just didn’t work out with the time commitment.
As a Youth Fitness Specialist, the benefits of fitness on children is tremendous – they get better grades in school, have higher self-esteem, suffer from depression less, and on top of that, are healthier overall.
I totally understand, Irene. It didn’t work with my work schedule for many years – it’s tough for people with demanding jobs and/ or family lives to be able to commit. I hope you find a way to work it in sometime, but for now, it seems like you’re having such huge impact on kids’ lives already as a Youth Fitness Specialist!
I absolutely love this post!! I am such a strong believer that kids need to be involved in exercise. I actually did a thesis in college studying the benefits of children who were physically active, and like you said, the benefits are countless! I love the Girls on the Run program that you are helping with. That sounds so amazing! Oh and I am looking into Integrative Nutrition! I might be emailing you sometime to kind of hear about how you liked the program and things like that, if you don’t mind. 🙂
Wow, Becky, that’s awesome! I am a huge nerd about this stuff, so if your thesis is published and available online, I’d love to read it! Send it my way!
And yes on IIN – I’d love to talk to you about it and share my thoughts!! They often have major specials/ discounts if you’re referred by a graduate, so be sure you go through me (or another IIN grad) to save money!
Most importantly, congratulations, MARATHONER!! 🙂
Yay! SO excited to try out My Mix thanks for the opportunity Megan!
I really want to volunteer with Girls on the Run and when we move I am going to be looking into it because it sounds like such a wonderful group! Looking forward to it already. Just one of the many perks of this move 🙂
YAY! You will be such an awesome coach, Sara! Can’t wait for you to experience it!
Great post! I’m a girls on the run coach this season too along w my teenage daughter who is my junior coach. It’s been a great experience so far and I hope to do it for years. Looking forward to a great season. Hope you will check out my page too!
Deborah, I LOVE that you’re doing GOTR with your daughter – that’s so awesome! I bet it’s great for the girls you coach to have a younger, more “relatable” junior coach that understands them, and what awesome bonding between you and your daughter! Heading over to your page now!