International Walk to School Month, celebrated on October 7th, gives children, parents, school teachers and communities an opportunity to be part of a global event to celebrate the many benefits of walking. Walkers from around the world walk to school together to create communities that are safe places to walk.
Walk to School Day in the USA began in 1997 as a one-day event aimed at building awareness for the need for walkable communities. In 2000 this event became national and it took on a life of its own. Today, thousands of schools across America, and in over 40 countries worldwide, celebrate walking to school every October. The goal of this day is to raise awareness and support for the health, community and environmental benefits of regularly walking to school.
Here are 9 Benefits of Walking
Think of all the benefits running, biking, swimming, lifting weights, etc. has on your body… those are all the same for walking! Walking is one of the best forms of exercise. The only equipment it requires is a pair of sneakers and you can do it anywhere. It has so many advantages and is the easiest to incorporate into our daily lives.
1. Better heart health: Reduces your risk of coronary heart disease.
2. Improve overall health: Improves your blood pressure, blood sugar level and blood lipid profile.
3. Maintain healthy weight: Helps you maintains your body weight and lower your risk of obesity
4. Improve mental health: Enhance your mental well-being because you release endorphins when you exercise.
5. Lowers risk for chronic diseases: Reduces your risk of osteoporosis and Type 2 Diabetes.
6. Creates healthier habits: Walking to and from school allows adults and children to easily incorporate physical activity each day. It is recommended that children and adolescents get one hour or more of physical activity each day.
7. Improve learning ability: Students who are physically active on their way to school, arrive ready to learn and tend to perform better in class.
8. Better connections: You can walk with a friend or a family member, which can lead to more friendships and better relationships.
9. Better for the environment: Leaving your car at home and lacing up your sneaks will help reduce the amount of air pollutants emitted by cars.
There are so many ways you can incorporate a walk into your day so don’t be discouraged if you cannot walk to school! Go for a morning walk, walk after school or after dinner with your friend or parents. You can also take your dog for long walks. Do whatever works for you!
Your turn to take action: How will you get your family to participate in National Walk to School Day?