October is International Walk to School Month. Walking and biking to school is a great way to help young people increase their daily physical activity and build healthy lifelong habits. Join the growing walk to school movement by participating in one of the many national walking events, or by starting one of your own. The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a national non-profit founded by the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation to combat childhood obesity has some tips to get you and your child out the door and walking towards a healthier lifestyle.
1. You don’t have to go it alone:
Reach out to other parents and community members. Form a walking group with other parents and their children. Walking in groups is safer and more social. Approach your school’s Parent Teacher Association with the idea.
2. Map Your Route:
Plan and test a route that is safe and enjoyable. Try to find a park or playground through which you can walk. Engage local businesses in your effort to make your neighborhood healthier.
3. Don’t be afraid to take the first step:
Be a leader for your child and your community by starting a walking trend that makes your community a healthier place.
4. Be green, be healthy:
Take cars off the streets by walking, not driving to school. Fewer cars translate to reduced emissions and reduced traffic. It’s also a great way to work towards the recommended one hour of moderate physical activity per day!
5. Turn off that TV, lace up those shoes:
If you or your child watches television in the morning before school, use some of that time to get a head start on your walk. Many children spend more time watching television than in meaningful contact with parents. Walk to change that trend.
6. Put the pedals to the pavement:
Support your health and your local biking community by putting on a helmet and biking to work or school. Arrive at school or work energized and ready for a great day!