On most Saturday mornings, you’ll find pediatrician Dr. Ross Newman at Alton Baker Park in Eugene, ready to run. He’s spearheading a new program called Runs with Ross, which is sponsored by Eugene Pediatric Associates to help families in the community get active and be healthy.

“We have kids who’ve come out to run or walk at our event 8, 9 or 10 times in a row, and they are so excited. I see them in the clinic, and they tell me they’re going to see me on Saturday and we have such a great time,” says Dr. Newman.

Making activity a family affair
Runs with Ross was born out of Dr. Newman’s love for running, which started when he was in middle school. As a father of four, he recognizes the importance of being active with his children. As a pediatrician, he also knows that regular exercise helps reduce pediatric obesity and dangerous illnesses like type 2 diabetes.

“We also talk about healthy living during our Runs with Ross events. We talk about how to eat well and make that part of a healthy lifestyle—healthy eating, healthy activity and decreasing screen time,” says Dr. Newman.

Getting regular activity is important to the physical and mental health of both kids and adults, so exercising as a family is beneficial to parents and children.

“We know that exercise is important for kids’ health, but it’s also really important to have the kids be supported in exercise by their family,” says Dr. Pilar Bradshaw. “It’s much more likely that your child will grow up loving to exercise and having good heart health and all the benefits of exercise if they’re doing it with their family members.”

Marilee Tennant enjoys running and says participating in Runs with Ross allows her an opportunity to share her love of physical activity with her children.

“I think it’s awesome and great for the community. It gets people outdoors, moving, because it’s hard to want to run on your own, especially when it’s cold out,” she says.

Join Runs with Ross
Runs with Ross takes place on most Saturdays of the year at the start of Pre’s Trail at Alton Baker Park in Eugene, starting at 10:00 a.m. The events are free to attend, and kids of all ages and fitness levels are welcome, along with their families. Learn more at RunsWithRoss.com and stay up-to-date on the latest event schedule by following Eugene Pediatric Associates on Facebook.