Top Ten Reasons to Walk with your Kids

Our family lives two-tenths of a mile from the Elementary School that our children attend. Being the "hippies" that we are, we find ourselves just about the only folks in our neighborhood walking our children to school everyday. And while my husband and I treasure the time with our children, we also find ourselves incredibly frustrated by the folks we see NOT walking their kids to school, especially those that live closer than we do.

Nevermind the fact that most parents rushing their kids to school break the speed limit, can't seem to put their cell phones down and have a total disregard for pedestrian safety...I'd like to focus not so much on why you shouldn't drive (that article is coming) but rather why you should walk...especially if you have kids. Walking to school may not be an option for you, but there is no excuse not to go for a walk SOMEWHERE! May the following Top Ten Reasons to Walk with your Kids be an inspiration to you.

10) Walking is simply the best low impact exercise for just about any one who can walk.Walking just minutes a day can have tremendous health benefits. Considering we have a whole generation of kids who are not likely to outlive their parents, I think this should be reason enough.

9) A stroll through the neighborhood can reveal nearby treasures you never even knew about; like the blackberry bush that hugs the public trail or the blue iris that grows on the corner. You might also get the chance to say hello to a neighbor that you might otherwise just give the obligatory wave while driving by.

8) You set a good example when choosing to walk over driving. Children pay attention and are more likely to want to walk when they see that you don’t always have to jump in the car to go somewhere.

7) It’s amazing what you will learn from your children while on a walk. When they have your attention (you are not distracted by the oncoming traffic or incoming text messages) they are actually eager to tell you some of the fabulous thoughts swimming in their head.

6) You create more memories walking than driving.

5) Taking a walk gives you the opportunity to show your kids how smart you really are; whether it’s your knowledge of flora and fauna or how to decipher East from West, you have the chance to show off and pass along your wisdom.

4) Even the shortest drive uses resources; Think of the gas you could save, the pollution you could prevent, and the wear on your vehicle the next time you are just going to “run down the street”. Studies have also shown that most accidents happen close to home. Why make the streets any more congested?

3) Vitamin D is essential to our health and well being. And while there are food sources such as fish, the best way to absorb Vitamin D is through Sun exposure. It doesn’t have to be a super sunny day to reap the benefits of those golden rays during a walk around the block.

2) Children grow up so fast as it is…slow down; why rush anywhere?

1) When else can you sing, "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood" , "Singin' in the Rain" or "These boots are made for walking"?

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