October means different things to different people. To some, it means falling leaves and crisp fall days and to others it means Halloween. But did you know that October is also International Walk to School Month? Walking and biking to school are great ways to help children -- and adults -- increase their daily physical activity and build healthy habits for life.
Here are some tips for a safe passage:
Find a Partner. Talk to other parents in your neighborhood and see who else might be interested in having their kids walk or bike to school. You can also approach your school's Parent Teacher Association to help form walking groups.
Scope the area. Walk or bike the route yourself and check out the surroundings. Are there adequately posted signs and traffic signals? Does the route feel safe?
Lead by example. Rather than drive your kids to school, walk with them and see them off to school after a nice walk. The journey is always as important as the destination. This can become a special time for you to bond with your kids and also allow them to become familiar with the route.
Cut carbon, cut calories. Walking to school translates to less traffic congestion in the neighborhood and a safer environment for those walking to school. And it's a great way to get in that recommended one hour of moderate physical activity a day for kids.
Form a posse. It's safer to walk in groups and it's also a great opportunity for kids to socialize with their peers.
Dust off that bicycle. Biking to school can be a refreshing way to start the day. Make sure you've got a sturdy helmet and tune up your bicycle for a safe, smooth ride.
For more information on how you can help kids in your community eat better and move more, visit www.HealthierGeneration.org.