It's National Walking Month!
Here at Little Trekkers we’re passionate about getting everyone outdoors. Whether you’re planning on tackling a hiking route with your little ones at the weekend or just looking for simple ways to get more active during the week, then May is certainly the month to give walking a go! If you're interested in reading more about the statistics and information included in this post, click on the sentences in bold- they all have links.
Why walking? It’s a low impact activity and there are many benefits involved. But, in a nutshell, walking is a weight-bearing exercise and is an activity that most people are able to do. Walking doesn’t require any high-tech equipment – just a good pair of shoes and some enthusiasm!
What are the benefits?
According to the UK charity Living Streets, a generation ago 70% of children walked to school
– but today only half of today’s children do. Many teachers have noticed that children who walk to school are more alert and readier to learn than their peers who have travelled by other modes of transport such as cars. Whilst walking to school is not a feasible or safe option for many children and their parents, Living Streets tirelessly campaigns to create safer environments for pedestrians everywhere in the UK. Walking not only contributes to children’s physical wellbeing, it can also help them lead happier and more active lives. It’s recommended that children should do 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise every day. Despite this, it’s reported that only 1 in 5 boys (21%) and 1 in 6 girls (16%) aged 5-15
are meeting these recommended levels of physical activity. Even by walking as little as 15 minutes per day
has been shown to have long term health benefits, such as increasing life expectancy.
In the National Trust’s ‘Natural Childhood Report
’ (2012) Stephen Moss writes that ‘exposure to the natural world can even enable people to live longer’. In 2009 researchers at the University of Essex found that where children were ‘free-range’, people’s lifespan increased. Furthermore, walking is a fantastic way to encourage kids to connect with nature and to learn about the world around them. Even walking to school or around town can provide opportunities to teach children important lessons about road safety.
In celebration of National Walking Month, we've put together a list of sites that can inspire, educate, and make walking fun for everyone!
Walk for a Good Cause
Living Streets are advocates of #WalkToSchool and #Try20 (20 tips to help grownups walk 20 minutes a day). Learn more about their work here
Walking Safely and Having Fun
Walking and Hiking Information has lots of handy articles about walking with children. Read here
Want to Find Some Walking Routes?
1.The National Trail
3. The Culture Trip
6. Walks with Buggies
Want to Get Inspired?
1. Natural Childhood Report (National Trust, 2012)
2.Sustrans Tips for Walking with Toddlers and Children
3.Ramblers Walking With Kids
4. The Urban Ranger: Wellness by Walking In Nature
Be Safe, Be Seen
1.Reflective Safety Vests