Walk to school week starts Monday, Oct. 7

Put your walking shoes on — Oct. 7-11 is International Walk to School Week.

Put your walking shoes on!

Oct. 7-11 is International Walk to School Week and communities across the globe will hit the streets on the way to the classroom to celebrate the benefits of walking.

Often taken for granted for its simplicity, walking is a multi-faceted contributor to healthy lifestyles, safe streets, and overall community wellbeing.

And for a society that leans towards too much sitting, a simple walk to school or work can be of tremendous benefit.

Encouraging kids to walk to school is a chance for them to get outside, to get to know their streets and their neighbours and to promote an active lifestyle that will stay with them throughout their lives.

So get up a little earlier in October, breathe the fresh fall air, and start the day off with a stroll.

Research shows that physical activity increases attention and academic success in children, not to mention making them happier and healthier.

Walking also cuts down on the emissions produced by driving, improving air quality and making school zones safer by reducing speed and traffic congestion.

Motor vehicles create more air pollution than any other single activity and in Williams Lake vehicle exhaust is a contributor to the particulate that detrimentally affects our air quality.

Interested in starting an International Walk to School Week initiative at your school?  Start a friendly competition to get students excited about walking; think about a “walking school bus” that collects neighbourhood kids en route to school so they can walk as a group.

Or just start walking; there’s no special equipment needed and it is a simple way to get stay healthy, get active, cut down on vehicle emissions and fuel costs, and kick off each day with energy and fresh air!

For more information check out the Williams Lake Air Quality Roundtable website atwww.breatheasywilliamslake.org.