When I was young, I walked 12 kilometers to and from school in 2 meters of snow!! OK...That may be a slight exaggeration, but I did walk to school most days and yes, even when it was cold, wet and windy.At the time I didn’t think twice about the benefits of walking to school, but now I know that the list is long and includes:
- being outdoors, in the fresh air
- a low-cost (or no cost!) form of exercise
- getting to school energized and ready to learn
- improved bone and joint health
Walking is an excellent way of getting kids where they want to go, which is why we have an International Walk to School Month (iWalk)! iWalk comes around every October and is a great way to promote physical activity, community walkability, and environmental awareness. I think iWalk is a great opportunity to re-discover (or discover!) how easy walking to school (or anywhere for that matter) can be. Let’s help our kids get one step closer to meeting their 60 minutes of daily physical activity by showing them that walking as a type of transportation is the norm! Here are three reasons why:
- It creates lifelong healthy habits. Walking to school is a way to incorporate physical activity into your child’s daily routine. This is a healthy habit your child will carry forward for the rest of their life.
- It’s social. Walking gives kids a chance to make friends with others that walk the same route. It’s a great time to get to know other kids in the neighborhood!
- It’s a learning opportunity. Joining kids for the walk provides a good opportunity to teach them about road safety. And, when kids are comfortable to make the journey on their own or with friends, walking to school will instill independence and responsibility.
This October, teach your kids that walking is a fun and efficient way to get around and part of a healthy lifestyle – a lesson that will benefit them the rest of their lives. And remember, there is no such thing as bad weather, but rather inappropriate clothing; rubber boots and a rain jacket go a long way!
Did you know? Most trips under 1 km are often accomplished faster with your own steam rather than with gasoline! It takes about 15 minutes to walk 1 km and about 2000 steps.