Thirty students at Pleasant Grove Elementary in Dallas were treated on Monday to new New Balance running shoes, and the school’s fifth graders visited with from former Dallas Mayor Laura Miller, members of the US Marine Corps, and officers from the Dallas Police Department. The event kicked off 3 Months to 3 Miles, a kid-friendly training program designed to prepare families for the Mayor’s Race 5K, which is part of race weekend activities for the MetroPCS Dallas White Rock Marathon.
“We started the Mayor’s Race 5K nine years ago because Dallas was one of the fattest cities in the country, and the obesity epidemic involving our children was, and still is, unacceptable,” Miller said. “The 3 Months to 3 Miles program, developed by Diane Proud, running pro at the Cooper Fitness Center, is our tool to fight this looming epidemic. It helps kids and families integrate fitness into their daily lifestyles.”
The 3 Months to 3 Miles training program is appropriate for families with children age five and older, and includes a basic option, for those who aren’t currently exercising, and intermediate and advanced options for those who are already active. The program mixes running with cross training workouts, which can include family bike rides, soccer games, and any other favorite family physical activities. The program encourages families to keep exercise fun by trying new activities and to find creative ways to squeeze exercise into their busy lives.
Dallas Police Academy fitness trainers and members of the U.S. Marine Corps concluded the event by leading the students in warm-up activities and stretching. Assistant Police Chief Floyd Simpson reminded the students how valuable running can be not only to their health, but also to their performance at other physical activities.
“Our hearts and muscles are two of the most important things that help us do our jobs – so running is one of our favorite exercises. If we run, we’re able to chase faster, jump higher and keep you safer. We hope you start running and stay healthy with us!”
Have a child who is hesitant to start an exercise program? These ideas may help motivate them.
- Keep track of your family’s progress in the program by adding the miles you run or minutes you exercise. Go out and celebrate when you hit your goal!
- Be “sneaky.” Backyard games such as Tag or Red Light, Green Light, can count as cross training. Get outside, play, and your kids may not even realize they are exercising.
- Find a trail to hike together. Turn it into a nature scavenger hunt to keep your child interested and moving.
- If your child isn’t into team sports such as soccer, baseball, or basketball, try signing them up for something like golf, horseback riding, ice skating, or a kids’ running program. Keep trying until he or she finds an enjoyable activity.
- Be a good role model! The family who exercises together stays healthy together. Make sure your kids see you moving and sweating.
For more information on the 3 Months to 3 Miles program, including training program details, visit www.runtherock.com/3-months-to-3-miles. The Mayor’s Race 5K is Saturday, December 3. For more information or to register, visit www.runtherock.com/mayors-5k-presented-by-cigna.