This year's top races for kids in Michigan 

There's an alarming percentage of children between the ages of 6 and 19 that do not get enough, or any, exercise.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children and young people need to do at least 60 minutes of aerobic exercise every day. The reality is, only 30 percent of America's youth do the recommended amount of activity. As a result, nearly one in three children is obese, and is likely to face chronic obesity-related problems such as heart disease, cancer, asthma and high blood pressure in their adult life.

However, these stats can be reversed. Parents are strong influencers in their children's lives and studies have shown that there is a positive correlation between physical activity in parents and their kids. When an active lifestyle is encouraged early on, children are more likely to exercise as adults.

If you're already participating in athletic events, and you're struggling for ways to get your child involved, here's a few event suggestions that are perfect for the whole family this summer.

July

Saturday, July 9 – Swampfoot Mighty Might Mile – St. Clair

This race is for the more adventurous 8- to 12-year-old. It's a cross-country foot race with obstacles similar to those found in military style courses. The adult version of Swampfoot is four miles long, but kids only run the last mile. All participants receive a moisture wicking shirt and medal.

Saturday, July 16 – Mudfactor Kidz – Baja Acres – Millington

The Mudfactor Kidz run is perfect for the whole family. Kids 4+ can run with their parent through 1.5 miles of mud and obstacles. All racers receive a bandana, medal, temporary tattoo and race bib.

August

Saturday, August 20 – Glow in the Park – Detroit

The Glow in the Park 5k is a night race where people of all ages can join. This fun run includes running through seas of bright foam, rain storms of UV glow water and dust clouds of neon powder. Registration to the race includes a glow in the dark T-shirt, glow necklace, LED lights, and glow paint.

Saturday, August 27 – GR Mud Run – Grand Rapids

The GR Mud Run is the premiere mud race in the West Michigan area. Kids 12 and up can register for the regular 3.1 mile course, but children 6 to 11 are invited to run the Kids Mini Mud. That course is 1.5 miles and includes the muddiest obstacles and best mud pits. Kids run free with a regular 5k registration.

More ways to get active

Check out the Team Priority Health Champions or read our current Champion Spotlight story. The Champions are a group of like-minded individuals and their families throughout the state of Michigan that are passionate about health and wellness. Participating team members can sign their children up as a Priority Champion Kid. Together, families can earn points for volunteering at or participating in local race events. Those points can then be used to purchase items like athletic apparel, dodge balls, basketballs and more.

Team Priority Health is open to the public and completely free to join. To learn more, visit the Team Priority Health website or Facebook page.