By Jerril Rechter, CEO, VicHealth
First published in the Sunraysia Daily, 24 January 2017.
Kids have been outside enjoying the school holidays and the sunshine. Now is a perfect time to keep up the momentum and develop a healthy back-to-school routine.
Walking, riding or scooting to school is a fun start to the day, a great way to spend time together as a family and it contributes to the hour of physical activity they need each day.
Research shows that spending time in an outside natural environment can reduce stress and help children regulate their emotions.
If you can’t go with them, consider allowing your kids to make the journey to school with siblings or peers, or even on their own, if they are ready.
Every child is different and parents need to decide when their child is ready to travel on their own. Consider walking part of the way, or dropping your kids a short distance from school.
VicHealth’s 2016 Walk to School program was the most successful ever, with a record number of students across Victoria walking a total of 1.6 million kilometres. That’s a hugely impressive record that both parents and kids should be proud of.
So why not get your kids walking to school and make tracks towards a healthy and happy new school year. They’ll thank you for it.
Find out more: How to help your kids get around safely on their own.
Jerril Rechter is CEO of VicHealth