This is a great week to start making an extra effort to walk more. Not only is walking a great way to get some exercise and lessen your impact on the environment, it can also be a great way to really connect with your child.
Life is often busy for parents, so jumping in the car (if one is available) can easily become a habit. Sometimes, it is a necessity, but try to think about those times when the car can be avoided, and get walking, exploring and chatting with your child. Consider some of the benefits:
- It is a great chance to spend some relaxed time with your child just chatting about things you see or what you are doing that day. It can also give your child a space to talk to you about something that might be worrying or upsetting them.
- Walking in your community not only provides your child with an opportunity to engage with their local environment but also allows you both to connect with the wider community.
- Walking can improve road safety skills. You can teach your child how to approach road crossings and navigate safely so that when are old enough to walk to school alone, you can trust their road sense.
- Walking with your child to various local places can also bring economic benefits. The money you can save on petrol could be used for a fun family day out.
- A hint of rain or a slight drizzle prompts many of us to grab the keys or get on the bus even if we were planning to walk, but it can be a chance to teach your child about wearing appropriate clothing and planning ahead.
- Walking with your child helps build exercise into the daily routine; this can help counter the risk of childhood obesity and illness later on in life.
Adapted from an article from Limerick Smarter Travel. For more information, see www.limericksmartertravel.ie.