By Kari Svenneby
So this post is about something so simple - walking. It is also important to encourage walking in kid’s from an early age, so they make walking a habit for rest of their life. It is a simple choice in fresh air living where you get exercise and an aerobic activity as the byproduct.
If we all started to walk for a little bit more from A to B our earth would be a better place to live for all of us; Mother Earth would thank us more fresh air and the healthier we all would become.
These are things you probably know, but for me the biggest reason why I walk everywhere and enjoy hiking - it makes me happy. I get depressed after one day without any walking. You will see me outside even in rain, snow and storm.
There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. There are so many choices in cool outdoor gear, - both street fashion and hard-core gear, eliminating any excuses for not getting out there. Kate Moss even made rubber boots fashionable again, so use them.
I’m lucky to live in a walking community in Toronto, and I’m aware that in a lot places one doesn’t have any choice but to drive to where they are going. Walking becomes even more of a deliberate decision where the decision to park the car before you get to your destination and walk the rest of the way to school can make a significant change in your lifestyle. It takes a few more minutes, but the benefits are massive.
Tips about encouraging walking with kids:
1. Always schedule extra time when walking with children. They have little legs and they need time to explore their surroundings on the way.
2. Use the walking time to explore the world as they jump, climb and play their way to their destination encouraging the development of physical gross motor skills. Puddle jump, climb on hills and pick up sticks and leaves on the way. Their way is not the direct way.
3. Encourage outdoor education by looking at the flowers and trees you see along the way. Name the flowers and trees you see, to the kids,
if you can’t name it, look it up when you get home.
4. Use your senses and smell the roses. During springtime there is so much to smell in the air. Even a rainy day has a smell you almost can taste. Listen to the birds.
5. Teach them traffic rules and to respect the road, be a good roll model for them.
6. Get a Like-A-Bike or a similar model, that will help small kids keep up with their parents more easily on walking trips and hikes.
7. Kids always like to have a friend to walk with, it makes the walk more fun!
Be a good role model and walk whenever you can.