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An Ode to Walking on National Walking Day

Catherine is a senior communications professional helping social change organizations tell their story in powerful ways. She has expertise in public health, environmental stewardship, philanthropy and education. Follow her on Twitter @CatBrozena

Healthy active children make better learners. And there is plenty of research to support that.

Lucky for all of us, National Walking Day (April 2, 2014) endows parents and teachers with extraordinary superpowers to help children fire up their feet.  Children bring the energy. Adults bring the determination to channel divine chaos into forward motion.

Remember: your intention is more powerful than a thousand mobile devices. Your guidance more transcendent than a million angry birds. And conveniently, children enjoy leaping potholes and puddles in a single bound!

Consider three additional facts:

  1. Kids love to move their bodies.
  2. Thanks to Pharrell Williams, humans large and small clap and dance and walk while finding their true happiness.
  3. Walking fanatics who care about kids have already thought of stellar ways for you to make walking easy and fun.

So lace up those sneakers.  Indeed, lace up for your heart! And join other caring adults who understand the physical and mental benefits of spending at least 30 minutes walking (60 minutes for young bodies) for greater wellbeing.

Fire Up Your Feet

TNS06d011_RGBFamilies, students and schools need help to work together and get creative in designing healthy, physically active lifestyles.  That’s where Fire Up Your Feet steps in. The program’s Spring Activity Challenge offers a convenient way to get walking.  Just sign up, start walking, start tracking your walks, and help your school earn an award.

Take three steps:

  1. Go to Fire Up Your Feet.
  2. If you’re new to Fire Up Your Feet, click Register to register on the site. If you’re a returning visitor, click Login.  You will also see an En Español link.
  3. Earn awards by tracking activity during the Spring Challenge period in your region.

More than $70,000 will be awarded in select sponsored regions across the country. The 2013 winners hailed from 10 states and Washington, D.C.

Be a Champion of Active Transportation

Last year, ChangeLab Solutions and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership launched an interactive tool that allows school boards and advocates to custom-build an active transportation policy for their district.

This tool walks the user through a series of policy options to help build a customized Safe Routes to School policy for school districts, which they can then download for the school board to adopt. The goal is for help children and families to easily incorporate exercise into their day, and for children and youth to arrive at school focused and ready to learn.

Get on the (Walking) Bus

Doubting your own superpowers?  Behold the Walking School Bus! A Walking School Bus program involves a group of kids who meet up and walk to school as a group (with adult supervision). Students who partake in these programs are more energized and attentive in the classroom, socialize with their neighbors and learn about their community.

It’s good for our health. It’s good for our kids’ health. It’s good for the community! Need a little inspiration? Watch this video to see how schools all across the country are adopting walking school buses!


Even the President is Walking!

…well, at least in Hollywood. But it could be reality. Here’s a great video from Funny or Die to help us all visualize the day when walking becomes a national imperative.

Hey, maybe it already is!

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