If your resolution for the new year is to become more physically activity, how about doing it as a family? Runs with Ross, a program started by Dr. Ross Newman to encourage kids and parents to move and be healthy, is continuing in 2020.

“We want kids to get at least an hour a day of physical activity for optimum health,” he says. “That goes hand in hand with our recommendation that parents limit their children’s screen time to less than two hours a day.”

Making exercise a family affair

On select Saturdays each month, Dr. Newman and staff members from Eugene Pediatric Associates gather with families for the Runs with Ross events at the start of Pre’s Trail at Alton Baker Park in Eugene. Dr. Newman leads the group in a 1-2 mile run/walk. Kids and their parents go at their own pace, depending on their fitness levels.

“We have kids who walk the entire time, others who alternate between walking and running, and some participants who run the entire time. We encourage kids and their adults to set goals and aim to go a little bit farther each session,” Dr. Newman says.

Regular activity helps reduce pediatric obesity and dangerous illnesses, like type two diabetes while building a stronger heart, bones and healthier muscles. Dr. Newman says an additional goal of Runs with Ross is to show families that being active together can be fun.

“If you ask your kids to exercise, it can be like asking them to do chores. But if you exercise with them, then it’s more of a play activity, like jumping on the trampoline, tossing a Frisbee or playing tag. All these things help families build bonds while also improving their health.”

Snacks are provided at the end of the session and kids can earn prizes for attending 10 or more Runs with Ross events, including water bottles and backpacks. But the real incentive for participating, Dr. Newman says, is that kids and parents have fun together. “By the end of the event, you’ll be really glad you took part.”

Runs with Ross is free to attend; kids of all ages, abilities and fitness levels are welcome, along with their families. Learn more at RunsWithRoss.com and stay apprised of the latest meeting schedule by following Eugene Pediatric Associates on Facebook.

*All participants must complete a registration form and waiver before running. Please arrive a few minutes early to complete the forms on the day of your or your child’s first run. Legal guardians must sign for children under 18 years of age.