Mamatoyz: Get Involved! Did you know it’s National Walking Month?
We’re loving the spring feeling and the freshness that makes us all want to get outside! Fortunately, this month is National Walking Month. The month where we have even more of a push in the right direction to start healthy habits and we’re doing it with other families. This article explains what this month is about, why this simple action is so healthy and important in day to day life as well as ideas on how we can encourage our little ones to increase the amount of movement they’re doing.
What is National Walking Month?
May is known as the month for walking. With initiatives like #try20, individuals and families are encouraged this month as the days get longer to get 20 minutes of walking in every day. There are so many benefits to walking for our health and the health of our children and this is why this month has been growing in popularity year on year.
Why is walking so good for us?
There are many benefits to walking. From the physical impact to the well-being benefits too. Here are some of our favourite reason why we like to get walking this month:
Our hearts are very very important and we want to keep them in an optimum condition so we remain healthy for many years to come. Walking can reduce the risk of strokes as well as reduce the bad levels of cholesterol and increase the good levels of cholesterol!
It can be difficult to get an adequate amount of vitamin D because of the lifestyles the majority of us have in the 21st century. Therefore, getting outside and making the effort to do so, increases the amount of vitamin D we’re getting in our lives.
Maintaining a Healthy Weight
With increasing and being consistent with daily activity, it makes it easier for us to maintain a healthy weight. We don’t need to amend our diets and can still indulge in the things we want whilst including walking to help us maintain a healthy weight.
Providing and using Energy
Being active frequently increases our fitness levels and therefore improves our energy levels. By doing a little bit more and adding on the extra steps, we can easily increase our energy levels. For little ones, this is also great because whilst it increases their fitness levels it also provides them with an outlet to use their energy (especially towards the end of the day!)
Full Body Workout
Although not a high impact exercise, it is still working all parts of the body and counts as a full-body workout. Especially for children who continually change their pace, direction and types of movement, this really is a true full-body workout!
Happiness for all!
Just like any other exercise, there is a release of endorphins which makes us feel positive and happy. When getting children involved it also helps them to build a positive relationship with movement and being outside away from screens from a young age helping them to have a healthy future.
How can we encourage our children to increase the amount of walking they do?
The benefits of walking are clear, however, it can sometimes be a little harder than we want to get our children motivated to get moving. We’ve put together our tried and tested ways to get more walking and movement into daily activities!
Make it playful
It might seem simple, but by just including elements to make it a little more stimulating for their minds can help build the beginning of this habit to make it easier in the future. It can be as simple as giving them activity books for spotting things on their walk, bags to collect natural elements or our favourite is to provide them with something that allows them to move in a unique and fun way. Of course, our favourite is the Balance Bike!
Increasing the distance of places to go
Another simple way to get these extra steps in without too much knowledge from your little one is to simply park further away from the places you’re going. Maybe it's about parking at the end of the school street or the opposite corner of the supermarket car park. This simply gets you and them moving because you have to get to that destination so therefore inadvertently brings that motivation to walk!
Make it a family affair
If everyone is going, your little one won’t want to not go. Whether it's meeting a friend in the park or having the grandparents over, by seeing everyone else want to go, your little one is so much more likely to want to go themselves forgetting about the reasons they weren’t interested to go in the first place. We also love including other people and having them give them suggestions of how to make it more fun like, simply, a grandparent asking if they would like to take their Mini Bike!
Build the anticipation
Our final top tip is to build anticipation. If your little one knows it's a bit more of an ‘event’ they’ll be excited to participate. Whether it be choosing a new location to take a walk and let them know or putting together the ingredients for a picnic in advance and making their walk a lunch too! We love getting them involved in picnic preparations as well so don’t forget to use your Kule Learning Tower at the kitchen surface for safe picnic making!
We hope that you’re inspired to get involved with National Walking Month and there are some ideas here that will help you build some more healthy habits with your little one.