October is International Walk to School Month, when thousands of children from across the world will be changing the way they get to the classroom, doing so in a safe and healthy manner. With 2020 limiting the amount of exercise we can do throughout the day, walking to school with our children is a great way to get some fresh air and exercise at the start and end of the day. An active commute is a fantastic way to start the day and benefits children in many ways.
Why is Walking so Good for Children?
- Academic performance – It has been proven that when a child walks to school, they are more likely to arrive to lessons more alert and better prepared, which improves concentration throughout the day.
- Physical Health – During the National Lockdown, we were all limited to what exercise we could do in a safe and secure manner. Walking is one of the best activities to develop cardiac and respirator capacity for children, parents and teachers alike. It also helps keep weight controlled and build muscle strength, all contributing towards the 60 minutes a day.
- Mental Health – Since the school closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, mental health for children, parents and teachers has been greatly affected. Walking to school gives that time in the morning to clear your head and reduce anxiety levels. Walking home from school at the end of the day also helps destress and relax after a tough day in school.
Did You Know:
- The average time to walk to school for primary school children is only 13 minutes!
- Over the past 20 years, the percentage of children travelling to school by car has doubled.
- Almost 40% of primary school students are now driven to school each day
- 20% of secondary age students are driven to school
- Most journeys are actually less than two miles
Tips and Ideas
- Plan your route –Before your set off on your walk, make sure you have your route planned out. Check that there is suitable walk ways and crossings to stay safe.
- Time checking – The reason to walk to school is to reduce anxiety and arrive refreshed and relaxed, so you don’t want to be rushing or be late. So why not test out your timed walk beforehand.
- Suitable shoes – Make sure you have comfortable shoes when walking to school. Why not wear trainers and swap to your school shoes when you get to school.
- Games on your walk – Games are great way to make the commute more fun. Eye spy anyone? How many different birds can you spot?
- Its October, it might rain – The UK’s weather can be unpredictable, make sure you always have a waterproof rain coat with you! Or if its chilly, make sure wrap up warm.
- Count those steps – Use a Pedometer and track your steps. How many steps does it take you to get to school? How many steps can you do the whole week?
To learn more about International Walk to School Month then you can visit this website for positive post, fundraising ideas and how walking to school is done over the world - https://www.livingstreets.org.uk/get-involved/campaign-with-us/international-walk-to-school-month
Stay safe and healthy.