Visit any American grade school at 3 o’clock on a weekday afternoon and you’re likely to find a dozen or so overweight children sluggishly climbing into their parents’ SUV, only to be greeted with a jumbo size soda, and driven the 5 blocks home.
Here at PE4life, we’re all about expanding physical activity into the community, and walking to school is a great and simple way to implement this idea. In a time when one third of our children are obese and even more are sedentary, the simple act of walking to and from school every day could make a huge impact on the health of our children.
Studies have shown that just 30 minutes of exercise a day can: help maintain a healthy weight, prevent juvenile diabetes, reduce blood pressure, provide mental well-being and even prevent cancer. Add a 30 minute walk home on top of quality, daily physical education and we’ll solve the obesity epidemic in no time!
Unfortunately, we live in an era when you can’t trust your own neighbor, so it’s no surprise that parents have serious reservations about their children walking to school. However, if we educate our children to take the necessary safety precautions, there’s really no reason this can’t be a perfectly safe form of exercise. Here are a few safety tips to share with your children or physical education class on walking to school:
• Walk in groups
• Cross the street where crossing guards are stationed
• Tell parents the route they take
• Use sidewalks
• Pay attention to your surroundings
• If you're still worried after sharing these tips, walk with the child!
For some more great resources check out:
* This article was taken from the PE4life Quarterly Newsletter. To sign up to receive this newsletter click here.