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How to Start a Running Routine When You Have Kids With Special Needs

How to Start a Running Routine When You Have Kids With Special Needs

From jogging and body-weight exercises to pilates, there are plenty of ways to get your daily dose of exercise.

Running is particularly beneficial. It not only provides a full body workout but also boosts your energy and wards off stress.

Unlike other workouts, it requires no special gear.

You can go for a run anytime, anywhere.

Ready to give it a try?

Here are some simple running tips for newbies:

Set Realistic Goals

People start running for all kinds of reasons.

Some do it to lose weight or keep the pounds off.

Others see it as a way to relieve stress.

No matter your reasons, running should be on your to-do list.

This form of exercise keeps your brain sharp, promotes cardiovascular health, and boosts your mood.

Think of it as a natural antidepressant.

Determine why you want to start running.

Set realistic goals and then come up with a plan.

For instance, if you're trying to lose the baby weight, begin with small steps.

Running is not recommended sooner than six to 12 months after giving birth.

Focus on building up your endurance and refrain from pushing yourself to extremes.

Warm Up and Cool Down

Take the time to warm up before going for a run.

Stretch your muscles and joints, do a few push-ups, or climb the stairs.

This helps prevent injuries and prepares your body for exercise.

When you're done running, do a few more stretches to regulate your heart rate and cool down.

Start Small

Have realistic expectations for your first few weeks of exercise.

If you're a complete beginner, start walking for 10-15 minutes a day.

Once you can walk for half an hour easily, include short running intervals into your routine.

For instance, you can walk for 15 minutes, run for two minutes, and then walk for another 10 minutes.

Maintain a speed that feels comfortable and doesn't leave you out of breath.

As your endurance increases, run for a longer time.

Get Your Family Involved

Running is more exciting when you're in a good company.

Encourage your spouse and kids to join you.

It’s a great activity for kids with or without special needs.

An opportunity to spend one to one time with your non-disabled children or a chance to get inclusive if your child has a physical difficulty that makes walking/jogging/running challenging.

This could mean investing in a special needs jogging buggy like Special Tomato or the X Rover, going to running tracks for a flat surface perfect for kids who struggle with uneven surfaces or use gait trainers or walking frames.

Plan running competitions with real prizes.

Later, you can even join a race or a marathon together.

This activity gives you a chance to spend more time with your family and have fun, so get everyone on board!

Do you run or do you run with your family?

We’d love to hear your story!

Firefly Blog

Real life stories, issues and experiences of day to day life by special needs parents and
healthcare professionals.


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For Firefly, life is all about experiences and being face to face with friends and loved ones. By enhancing the child's perspective and giving them the tools to 'join in', the child not only has the opportunity to participate, but can also be at the heart of it.

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