February is Winter Walk Month, the perfect time for families to enjoy walking outdoors together. One great way to stay active this winter is by walking to school the whole way or part of the way. Did you know that walking or rolling to school not only improves children’s health but can help improve academic performance? The increased physical activity improves alertness and attention span during the school day! An active school commute also reduces road congestion in school zones and greenhouse gas emissions – it’s a win-win for everyone!
Some families are not able to walk all the way to school, so for families who drive, we encourage you to avoid the congestion by parking five minutes away from the school and walking a block! Find your Walk-a-Block map HERE. Families who take the school bus can stay active this winter by walking in their community together.
Families and schools can check out the many resources available to celebrate Winter Walk Month HERE. Below are a few of the ways that families can join in the fun:
· Join the Hop! Winter Walk Challenge. Use the Hop! app in February to log your walks to school or in the community. Everyone who participates will be entered in a random prize draw to win a $50 gift card from Indigo/Chapters! www.123hop.ca.
· Ottawa teachers are encouraged to join the Hop! Winter Walk Classroom Challenge. The classroom team that logs the most kilometres in the month of February will win a $100 gift card. Classroom teachers can create a team and join the challenge by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whether you are a parent, guardian, teacher, or engaged community member, the children in your life will thank you for walking with them! Check out this blog post for more fun ideas for walking in the winter.