This post is republished from the Coalition for Transportation Choices (CTC). The CTC calls for a 21st century transportation system that enhances our economy and provides all Rhode Islanders with healthy transportation choices. Grow Smart RI is a member of the Coalition.
School has started and mornings are once again more rushed. It’s probably hard to imagine fitting anything else into your hectic schedule.
You read something online or in the newspaper, or hear something on the radio encouraging parents and students to walk to school and your first thought is “Get real!”
But International Walk to School Day on Oct. 3 is a good opportunity to take a look at the real benefits to your health, your finances and your quality of life that walking to school can provide. It might cause you to think again revving up those feet!
Better health. All of us need exercise for health. Especially our children. The U.S. Department of Health says that children need 90 minutes per day of moderate exercise and adults need 20 minutes. Studies show a correlation between exercise and mood and exercise and positive learning. A moderate walk to school can fulfill some of the recommended Department of Health daily exercise for parents and students — and without a trip to the gym, special clothes, or much extra time.
More time with your kids. Investing a little time for future health also provides a chance to talk to kids on the way to school, to enjoy out-doors, and to do something good for the environment. In some communities parents form cooperative “Walking School-buses” to share the responsibility of a healthy walk to school.
Less spending. Back-to-School sales did not reduce the price of gasoline. Walking to school requires no gas.
Although it might not seem like it when we’re rushing around to get things done in the morning, for many people walking to school can be a real choice, with real benefits.
Thanks to all the families, communities, and government programs that promote good health through walking. Let’s use muscles and brains to get ahead on personal and environmental health.
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation and Statewide Planning in Department of Administration have been awarded “Safe Routes to School” federal funding to municipal applicants to improve safety for students walking and bicycling to school. International Walk to School is the non-profit arm of Safe Routes to School and provides ideas for schools to encourage walking.