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Park the Car It's Not That Far

October 17, 2013 by Normand Richard, Certified Exercise Physiologist

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As a child, walking to and from school was a year-round affair. The best part in the mornings, was as I got closer to school I'd meet more friends and by the time we got to the schoolyard we'd already be caught-up on last night's hockey game, who had a new bike, or the latest comic books.

With the release of the 2013 Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card it's a good idea to focus on the amount of time our children spend being active. Luckily, there are a number of simple actions we can take. One such action is to: Park the Car It's Not That Far!! This newly launched campaign from ParticipACTION and HealthyFamilies BC encourages residents to get to locations under their own steam - most trips less than one kilometer can be walked in about 15 minutes.

By comparison, starting the car, getting everyone buckled-in, getting through traffic, and then parking quickly adds up to 10-20 minutes for a short trip. If this was to be walked or biked, your kids activity levels would increase, you’d save money, and be doing your part for the environment; a win-win situation!

Here are some tips to help you get your walk on:

  • A good jacket or umbrella will keep you dry during bad weather. Remember there's no such thing as bad weather, simply inadequate clothing
  • Participate in an event such as iWALK Month (International Walk to School Month) this October. There are excellent resources and your school may already be registered.
  • Involve the community: Your kids can walk to school with the neighbours some days and you can walk their kids on other days.

While the walk to school was a big part of my day, the walk home wrapped things up nicely as we summed-up the day's best jokes, recess soccer matches, and thought of suggestions to give mom & dad for tomorrow's lunch!

Recommended Resources:
Physical Activity Line
Hub for Active School Transport BC (HASTeBC): Walking and Cycling Route Planning Tool
HealthyFamilies BC: Let's Embrace International Walk to School Month
HealthyFamilies BC: October is iWalk Month

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