Fall is in full swing and a new month is almost upon us! Since October is only a few days away, the Wellness Initiative is highlighting the International Walk or Bike to School Day taking place next Wednesday, October 7th.
Walk to School Day was organized by the Partnership for a Walkable America beginning in 1997. First established as a one-day event focusing on building awareness for the need for walkable communities. The event was recognized internationally in 2000 when the UK, Canada and USA combined their efforts and created the first International Walk to School Day.
What are the benefits of Walk to School Day? One of the primary benefits is involving your community, as well as your children. The common goal of improving walking and bicycling conditions brings together families, neighbors, schools and community leaders. It is a great way to start off the day with exercise and conversation about a common goal. Walking or bicycling to school also promotes regular physical activity that children and adults need every day. According to Walk Bike to School website, regular physical activity helps children build strong bones, muscles and joints, while decreasing the risk of obesity.
So, how can you connect Walk to School Day with your department and community? Last month the United States Surgeon General Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy released a Call-to-Action on Walking and Walkable Communities titled “Step it Up.” The “Step it Up” movement is focused on inspiring communities across the nation to become more active through a variety of activities, especially walking. This information is an awesome source to share in your community to inspire them to take advantage and participate in the Walk to School Day. More information on the benefits of walking and increasing physical activity can be found on the Surgeon General’s homepage. Remember to promote this information by using social media, such as: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Note that Walk to School Day falls on the Wednesday of the first full week of October, but the full month of October is considered International Walk to School Month. You can pick any day of October to promote this event. Please share your ideas if you are able to institute this event in your community. Stay active and promote wellness in your community!
One last note, our next webinar will take place on Thursday, October 8th, at 1:00pm. Derek Dunn and Sharon Williams, Greensboro Parks and Recreation Department, will be hosting. The topic will focus on creating a more inclusive outdoor recreation environment for persons with disabilities. It is important to offer equal opportunities for everyone, and as practitioners, part of our tasks is creating the ultimate recreation experience. Please click the following link to register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1001116701578498562
If you are participating on Walk to School day or have a program that aligns with the events goals we want to know! Email us your ideas or submit them on the wellness site here: (firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.ncrpa.net/?Wellnesssub)