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Unbelievably we are in May already! And along with May comes National Walking Month! Walking is a fantastic form of exercise. It gets you outdoors, is great for mental health and gets your heart pumping.

The month-long event is organised by the British Heart Foundation, which aims to encourage fun events and activities in school to raise awareness and donations for the charity.

Here are some tips to promote walking to school and get your pupils thinking about walking. Who knows, you may be able to encourage them to ditch the car permanently!

Teach children the benefits of walking

Walking is an amazing cardio exercise. It is low impact and a great way to breathe in some fresh air. Walking frequently can keep us fit and healthy, mentally and physically.

It is also good for the environment. It is the most environmentally friendly way to travel. A bonus is the sightseeing to be had en-route. Encouraging children to walk with a friend will also make the exercise seem social and not just a fitness activity.

Walking can also make you feel more positive and ready to start the day. It can wake you up quicker and leave you with a fresh faced feeling.

Another benefit is you can raise money for charity whilst walking. There are many apps available where you can raise lots of money for a good cause, just by walking a few miles. Even just nipping out with the dog!

Show children how they can take part in National Walking Month.

Children can take part and get fit by walking to and from school. If home is too far away, they could try walking part of the way. Every little helps!

Encourage children to take the stairs instead of lifts or elevators.

You could suggest children go for a walk with their friends at break and lunch times. This can help them be more productive during the day.

If they have a dog, encourage them to walk the dog and give mum and dad the night off.

Show the children how they can ask for sponsorship to do a long walk with family or friends They can cater their walk to who is taking part, so it is difficult but achievable. Or they could even go it alone! Children might like the idea of raising money for a charity that means something to them. The fact that they are getting fit and healthy is just an added bonus.

We hope you can use these ideas to get children excited about National Walking Month. Remember a healthy lifestyle isn’t just for a month, it’s for life!

Check out Active Nation for further information on National Walking Month – https://activenation.org.uk/thelocker/may-national-walking-month/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwp86EBhD7ARIsAFkgakhPIiSai3mGfRoUR9Ar8MgsWI6Tv_I0_sCYrGHDJhk_vH2_jJiXSmoaAqCMEALw_wcB