Give them a little more exercise by walking to school

Give them a little more exercise by walking to school

Walk to School Month is slowly starting to creep upon us and this year the focus will be on safety of the roads around schools.

Children from all over the world are getting their walking shoes on; from the UK to Uganda, kids are learning the benefits of a healthy lifestyle in the eleventh year of this global event.

Will you encourage your children to walk to school instead of taking the bus or a car?

Walk to School Month is run in the UK by national charity, Living Streets who work to create safe, attractive and enjoyable streets where people want to walk. More than 1.6 million children, parents and teachers up and down the country are expected join in and leave their cars at home.

This year, the UK will be focusing on the theme of traffic speeds and Living Streets will be kick starting a campaign to lower the speed limit to 20 mph where we live, work and shop to make the commute to school safer and more enjoyable for those on foot.

"We often hear from parents who are put off walking with their children due to the speed of traffic on our streets and it's easy to see why. A child hit at 20 mph has a 97 per cent chance of survival, yet half of children hit at 30 mph would lose their loves. That's why we are campaigning for slower speed limits this Walk to School Month," says Tony Armstrong, chief executive of Living Streets.

The number of children walking to school regularly has reached its lowest ever level and feedback from parents often puts road safety and in particular the speed of traffic as one of the top barriers which prevents them from walking.

Tony continues: "We believe the government should be doing everything they can to increase walking levels amongst children and making safer environments is a sure fire way of doing so. We all know the importance of exercise, so let's pass this down to today's children.

"Walking to school shouldn't be a chore filled with obstacles, but a great way to see the community, socialise with friends and get some fresh air into your day. It's also a nice chance to spend quality time with your children and to teach them the importance of a healthy lifestyle."

By taking action to reduce speed limits, Living Streets believes we can encourage parents to ditch the car keys and get their children to the school gates on foot. Walking to school regularly is not only a fantastic way to help reach the recommended daily 60 minutes of activity, but also a great chance to teach your children vital road safety skills and ensure they are alert and ready to learn at the start of a new day. And with figures that now suggest just 15 minutes of exercise a day can increase life expectancy by three years, there's no better time for parents to get involved with walking to school.

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