October is International Walk to School Month. Walking and biking to school is a great way to help young people increase their daily physical activity and build healthy lifelong habits. Join the growing walk to school movement by participating in one of the many national walking events, or by starting one of your own. Here are some tips to get you and your child out the door and walking towards a healthier lifestyle.

  1. You don’t have to go it alone. Reach out to other caregivers and community members. Form a walking group with other parents and their children. Heading to school in groups is safer and more social. Approach your Parent Teacher Association with the idea.
  2. Map your route. Plan and test a route that is safe and enjoyable. Try to find a park or playground through which you can walk. Engage local businesses in your effort to make your neighborhood healthier.
  3. Don’t be afraid to take the first step. Be a leader for your child and your community by starting a walking trend that makes your community a healthier place.
  4. Be green and be healthy. Take cars off the streets by trekking, not driving to school. Fewer vehicles translate to reduced emissions and less traffic. It’s also a great way to work toward the recommended one hour of moderate physical activity per day.
  5. Turn off the TV and lace up your shoes. If you or your child watches television in the morning before school, use some of that time to get a head start on your walk. Many children spend more time watching programs than in meaningful contact with parents. Walk to change that trend.
  6. Put the pedal to the pavement. Support your health and your local biking community by putting on a helmet and cycling to work or school. Arrive at class or or the office energized and ready for a great day.
  • The Alliance for a Healthier Generation

    The Alliance for a Healthier Generation works to address one of the nation’s leading public health threats— childhood obesity. The goal of the Alliance is to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity by 2015, and to empower kids nationwide to make healthy lifestyle choices. Founded in 2005 by the American Heart Association and William J. Clinton Foundation, the Alliance works to positively affect the places that can make a difference to a child’s health: homes, schools, doctor’s offices and communities. For more information, visit www.healthiergeneration.org.