From riding along in a jog stroller on my routine runs, cheering me as I crossed countless finish lines, to now training alongside me for her first duathlon, my daughter has been an active part of my fitness regimen all 12 years of her life. I have always enjoyed her involvement in my training and race goals, but find our recent activity of training together to prepare for a race to be the most fun. Not only do I enjoy having a training partner, but we are connecting on a different level too. And, most importantly, it is a well-known fact that exercise helps build positive self-esteem in young women. As we maneuver our way through puberty, I am mindful of the positive role exercise can play for my daughter in the coming years.
According to the NYU Child Study Center, eating disorders, low self-esteem, and depression are the most common mental health problems in girls. This sobering statistic is even more reason to encourage our girls to lace up their shoes to join us on our runs. Here are some tips to make it an enjoyable experience:
5 Tips for Successful Mother/Daughter Training
1. Use positive encouragement to start the training regimen. Building positive feelings about exercise is key.
2. Teach your daughter to listen to her body. Run/walks might be the first step, not a three-mile run.
3. Set an attainable goal (e.g., running 30 minutes without stopping or register for a 5 K race)
4. Have fun and use the time to connect with your daughter.
5. Once the goal has been achieved, celebrate the success!
It’s always a great time to start discussing a mother/daughter training regimen. You will both benefit from the exercise and quality time together.
Kelly Sajonia is a writer, social media & business consultant, and photographer. She is all over the internet, but spends most of her time at her award-winning blog, Naked Girl in a Dress.