It’s time for kids to put their feet first in the journey towards a healthier future as walking to school is good for their bodies and their minds.
National Walk Safely to School Day is next Friday, May 18 and as parents, we mustn’t forget that regular walking has a favourable impact on their kids’ cognitive and academic performance. That’s right, it’s good for their health and brain.
How is it good for the mind you might be asking? Physical exercise enhances kids’ information processing, memory, concentration and behaviour. All of these impact our kids’ overall academic performance.
Pedestrian Council of Australia chairman and CEO Harold Scruby says physical inactivity is a major risk factor for so many chronic diseases that can affect our kids at different stages of their lives including mental illness, cardiovascular disease and even cancer.
“One in four children in Australia are overweight or obese,” Mr Scruby says. “And it is expected that number will reach one in three by 2020.
“We really need teachers, parents, carers and the community at large to get behind this event and its objectives. The best exercise for all of us is regular walking. Children require at least 60 minutes per day of physical activity. We should encourage them to include walking at the beginning, during and end of each day.”
Beyond health and higher academic performance, walking to school also helps out kids have a better understanding of road safety and make a positive environmental impact. These long term benefits are well worth an earlier rise to get them moving before the school day begins.
But what if I live too far from school?
Even if you live quite a distance from school you can still participate. We recommend parking 500 metres to one kilometre away from the school and walking the rest of the distance.
Not only is walking great for your health and wellbeing, it’s also a fantastic way to start the day. We always feel better after including a walk into our morning routines.