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Walking is a great way to improve your health and fitness. It also benefits your community because you reduce energy use, air and noise pollution and traffic congestion.
It makes good sense to walk instead of using your car for short journeys. The least fuel-efficient car trip is a short one. Choosing to walk will also save you money on fuel and running costs.
If you have children at primary school, you could find out if their school has a walking school bus where a group of primary school children walk with two adults to and from school.
You may want to walk all the way to where you are going, or combine walking with public transport.
Brisk walking is an excellent way of getting your 30 minutes exercise per day. If you walk to and from work, you might not need to make extra time for exercise.
Walking helps prevent cardiovascular disease. There is a strong link between walking and reduced rates of obesity, adult-onset diabetes and osteoporosis. Walking can also improve your sense of wellbeing.
Walking means you get to be active with your children and it's a great way to replace the car trip to school and back. Active children tend to be healthier and have fewer weight problems.
Children who walk to school or to the local shops can gain important life skills. They can be learning how to find their own way around and becoming comfortable and safe in public places and near roads.
If your primary school is within walking distance, you could consider starting up a walking school bus. This is where a group of primary school children walk with two adults to and from school. There are always two parents with them. One parent 'drives' at the front of the bus, while the other parent supervises the rear.
Additional parents may be needed depending on your community requirements. The walking bus picks up passengers along the way at designated bus stops.
This is a fun and safe way to take children to school. The children meet and mix with other children in their neighbourhood and parents can make new contacts and friends in their local community.
Walking school bus programs operate in Tasmania and Victoria. The Australian Capital Territory Ride or Walk to School and Western Australia Walking for schools/students initiatives encourages students to walk, cycle or catch public transport to school. South Australia operates the Way2Go program to assist schools to encourage students to walk or cycle to school safely.
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