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International Walk to School Day

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

October 08, 2013

Researchers agree that when teaching children a second language, the earlier children are exposed to the new language, the better. The same applies to learning healthy habits like consistent exercise, healthy eating and safe behaviors. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that all children do at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day and that the bulk of this activity comes from aerobic exercise like walking or bicycling. Unfortunately for many children, the lack of adequate physical activity is causing them to suffer from childhood obesity.

In observance of International Walk to School Day, the Florida Department of Health encourages parents and guardians to emphasize to their kids the importance of a healthy lifestyle. One great way to start is by walking with children to school to promote healthy, fun and safe habits.

A popular option for families to get in physical activity is the Walking School Bus, which also connects communities and provides a safe option for children. Here’s how a Walking School Bus works: Under adult supervision, groups of children walk designated routes to school, picking up other kids along the way, just like a school bus. According to, “for some neighborhoods, it’s a casual group walk, while others set up a formal plan with adults scheduled to walk on certain days.” The Safe Routes to School Guide offers tips on how parents, teachers, educators, etc. can create a Walking School Bus in their community to increase the number of children who will have the chance to safely walk to school.

By promoting consistent walking and exercise for your children, you can help them reach his/her healthiest weight. For more information on how to help Florida’s children and adults make choices about healthy and active living, visit

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