Claremont elementary students participated in National Walk to School Day last Wednesday along with the Wednesday Walking Pals group at Volunteers for Youth, community leaders and even the Chick-fil-A cow and Claremore Zebra mascot joined in on the fun.
“Walk to School Day events raise awareness of the need to create safer routes for walking and emphasize the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, traffic congestion and concern for the environment,” said Lindsey Martin, Rogers County TSET Healthy Living Program Coordinator at Volunteers for Youth. “The events build connections between families, schools and the broader community.”
Walking to school is an easy way for students to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives, helping them develop healthy habits for a lifetime. Benefits of walking include improving heart health, reducing stress, regulating weight, increasing brain power and improving sleep quality – all of which can help children live well and perform better in school.
If you think your child is ready to walk to school, here are some great tips to help keep them safe:
• Plan out a safe route, and stick to it.
• Have kids buddy up with a friend.
• When biking, always wear a bicycle helmet, no matter how short or long the ride.
• Respect traffic lights, stop signs and other rules of the road.
• Wear bright-colored clothing to increase visibility.
• Cross streets safely.
• In neighborhoods with higher levels of traffic, consider starting a “walking school bus,” where an adult accompanies a group of neighborhood children on their route.
• Teach your child to never stop and talk to strangers.
• Designate safe places to go in case your child needs help.
Joining your child in walking to school, or any other time, can help reinforce the importance of physical activity and make it a fun, family affair. For more information about Wednesday Walking Pals, please contact Volunteers for Youth at (918) 343-2530. Visit ShapeYourFutureOK.com for great ideas to make walking fun, including a creative walking scavenger hunt.
Shape Your Future is a community health education intervention that encourages Oklahomans to eat better, move more and be tobacco free. SYF strives to educate parents, teachers, caregivers and all Oklahomans on how to make the healthy choice the easy choice.
Find additional ways to move more and be healthier at ShapeYourFutureOK.com. You can also connect with Shape Your Future on social media by liking Shape Your Future on Facebook and following @ShapeFutureOK on Twitter.