Hit the Pavement: How Walking to School Benefits Your Kid

I have very fond memories of walking to school when I was around 8 years old. Sometimes I’d walk by myself (my family and I were pretty lucky – we lived in a safe neighborhood full of other kids hoofin’ it to class). And other times I’d skip along with my best buds. Regardless if I went solo or was with friends on my daily walk, I always enjoyed the stroll.

Well, now there’s a bit of research that actually supports the positive vibes I got from walking to school. A recent study, called the “Mass Experiment 2012,” which took place in Denmark, examined the school transportation habits of nearly 20,000 children between the ages of 5 and 19. The article, “Walking to School Improves Students’ Ability to Concentrate,” reported that the study found that kids who walked or biked to class performed better than kids who were driven to school by their parents, or who took public transportation. The daily, morning exercise was the key that helped kids unlock their concentration “skills.”

Here are a few other reasons why walking to school is so great for your kid:

Walking keeps kids healthy

This is pretty obvious, but still worth mentioning. Staying active helps children stay physically fit. Also: Walking to and from school everyday can help kids get in the habit of engaging in physical activity.

Walking allows kids to stop and smell the roses

Kids have to examine every new neat thing they come in contact with. And that’s why walking outside is so great! Walking to and from class allows kids to get acquainted with the natural world.

Walking = friend making

Allowing your kid to walk with a group of kids to class allows your child to get to know new children.

Just make sure before you send your kiddo out the door, you make her a hearty organic breakfast. Also, keep in mind: If your kid is walking to class, she very well may be walking home, too. To make sure her hunger is satiated until dinner, consider making her any one of these five after-school snacks.


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