Walking is a great way of maintaining health in adults… but also great for children! Encouraging children to walk from the earliest age promotes healthy growth whilst also introducing them to the pleasure of regular physical exercise.
Whether to prevent the risk of excess weight or simply to share a family moment, walking is beneficial for the whole family!
The importance of encouraging physical activity in children
Children's behaviour has significantly changed over the past few years. Today, young people spend more and more time in front of screens (television, video games, tablet computers) than practising regular physical activity. Even journeys by foot have considerably reduced, replaced by public transport or journeys by car.
This reduction in activity leads to a gradual increase in the fat stores in the body, to the detriment of the muscle mass. Little by little, the child will feel tired more quickly and the pleasure of practising sport will be reduced.
When a sedentary lifestyle takes hold, the risk of excess weight increases and can lead to joint problems, or even breathing complications.
Adopting a healthy and active lifestyle from childhood remains the best form of prevention today. Parents' watchword should be: "Move, every day!".
This can include when playing games, practising sports or simply by walking!
The benefits of walking on your child's health
Practised 30 minutes per day, walking presents many benefits to children.
- Walking is relaxing
A child who walks to school is better at concentrating than their classmates who come to school by car. Walking home from school also gives the child a chance to let off steam, after a day spent sitting down!
- Walking develops ’independence
On the way, invite your child to choose the direction to walk. They may decide to take a short cut, or to extend the walk or even to stop in a park to eat their after-school snack. This responsibility helps them to grow and to become aware of what surrounds them.
- Walking improves mood
Walking outdoors is ideal for clearing the head and benefiting from natural daylight. Practised regularly and consciously, walking also contributes to developing a more positive body image.
- Walking tones the whole body
When practised for more lengthy periods, walking participates in developing cardiac and respiratory capacity. It helps your child's weight to be controlled and strengthens the muscles in their legs, feet and arms if you choose to walk more quickly!
Remember to buy your child suitable active walking shoes!
Walking with your child: a shared moment
By walking more often with your child, you will be adding a relaxing moment to the day. This will be a welcome decompression chamber for reducing stress and making you more available for your loved ones.
During this special time spent with your child, you will take the time to listen to them and therefore improve your relationship.
And on the way, you will be giving them a taste for physical activity: a precious gift for keeping healthy as they grow up!