This week is walk to school week! Pupils across the catchment, and the country, are being encouraged to walk to school as part of the event, which is an annual initiative from Living Streets.
Walking is one of the easiest ways to keep our minds and bodies healthy, whilst looking after out planet. Despite this many of us are reluctant to make even short journeys on foot.
If you need a little persuading, then here are 7 reasons to get walking!
1. Keep healthy. Walking is an easy way to get your heart pumping and get some cardio exercise. Plus, there is no pricy gym membership required! To up the effort try walking briskly (perfect if your always running late), taking an uphill route, or creating a longer walk circular walk, perhaps through a local green space, with the school gates as a stop off point.
Walking is also great for our minds. According to Mind, one in four of us will suffer from some kind of mental health issue in our lifetime. Walking can help the mind by helping us to de-stress and unwind, whilst providing mindful moments to distract us from worries and anxieties.
2. Explore your neighbourhood. Walking is the perfect way to explore your local area. Try looking up at trees, buildings and rooftops, or looking down at flowers, water, and gardens. You’ll see all sorts of natural beauty which is completely invisible when your focus is the grey tarmac in front of your car. Perhaps you have yet to visit the nature reserve that’s practically on your doorstep, or visited the local landmark that makes your town famous? Incorporating adventures like these into your walks is a great way to keep things interesting, especially for children.
3. Reduce your carbon footprint. Most people are aware that the planet is facing a climate crisis, and although the issue is complex, if everyone makes little changes, together we can make a difference. Ditching the car in favour of the walking shoes is an easy change for most of us and can help the planet we live on and rely on. It might not be practical when you are running late or in the mid-winter rain, but most of the journeys we take can be done on foot. Including the school run.
4. Spend quality time with family and friends. Walking to school is a great way to catch up with your family and friends. With no electronic distractions to get in the way of conversation, and plenty to talk about, it can be educational opportunity, or a chance for fun family time.
5. Get the kids ready for school. It’s not just a clean uniform and a packed lunch that kids need for school. They also need a brain that’s engaged and ready to learn. Walking is much more fun and sociable than a car journey, plus the walk will help to energise children, setting them up for the day with a calmer mindset and better concentration.
6. Improves sleep. The more we move, the more energy we burn, and the easier we relax and drop off at the end of the day. Our minds and bodies will then be ready and raring to go in the morning (or at least feel a little more rested). This applies to children too.
7. Save money. You might not be able to stop using your car completely, but your fuel consumption will drop saving you hundreds of pounds per year. If you take the bus, a train, or get a taxi you could get off at an earlier stop or ask to be dropped off earlier in our journey and walk the rest of the way.