SUNDAY, Oct. 10, 2010 (HealthDay News) -- Now that the school year is in full swing, the nonprofit Alliance for a Healthier Generation has designated October as International Walk to School Month.
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation was co-founded by the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation to combat childhood obesity.
With that in mind, the objective of the October designation is to encourage children to take up daily physical activity and adopt healthy habits, such as walking or biking.
To that end, the Alliance is offering tips to make the experience of walking or biking to school easy, fun and safe.
For example, adults are urged to check out the route first to make sure the path the children will be taking is safe for pedestrians, with adequately posted traffic signs and signals.
The Alliance suggests that parents talk with one another and with their local Parent Teacher Association to organize neighborhood walking groups, which provide kids with a safer and more social experience.
Or, parents could choose to walk with the kids, which would give them more time together and would also be a good way to lead by example in making sure kids get the one hour of daily moderate activity recommended for all children.
The Alliance suggests that, for those who would rather not walk, biking is another way to get active while getting to school. Just make sure kids are wearing properly fitted helmets and their bicycles are tuned up.
And as an added bonus, leaving the car at home will lead to less traffic congestion and, therefore, a safer environment for the kids that are walking and the entire neighborhood.
For more on International Walk to School Month, visit the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.