Saturday, August 15, 2009

Walk Your Kids To School

There is truly nothing new under the sun is there? The CDC is now promoting a "new" program KidsWalk-to-School under the umbrella of their Nutrition and Physical Activity Program.This isn't a new concept - the I Walk To School organization has been around since 1997. October was designated as the International I Walk To School Month in 2007. This year October 7th has been chosen as the I Walk To School Day in the US. In August 2005, federal legislation established a National Safe Routes to School Program that provided $612 million towards Safe Routes to School from 2005 to 2010.

The program's objective is to get groups of kids accompanied by adults (preferably parents?)to walk or bike from home to school and back again as was done back 'in the day'. I say Hoo-ray! By working with the community, creating safe routes and encouraging participation this fun healthy activity could once again become the common routine it once was. Probably the biggest stumbling block is going to be some parents. Parents who do not want to spend 15 to 30 minutes, twice a day, walking to and from school. The good news is that with all the lay-offs there may be a greater number of parents actually at home, who will not have the excuse of 'I'm at work and can't' and who will have the added incentive of needing to save that gas money. The healthy benefits of a brisk walk apply to parents as well as to kids. Back 'in the day' no one rode buses but farm kids and most farm kids had been up since dawn doing chores before school. Few of them suffered from lack of exercise.

Let's reclaim some of the simplicity of the past. Let's not fall into some of these urban traps. If you are thinking of relocating any time soon here's a list of the 25 best cities for walking.