Updated: May 26, 2022
In my former life as a teacher, one of the schools I worked at was a couple of miles from my house. I have to admit, there were more times than I’d like to admit that I drove to school. In my defence; I was often laden with 60 odd work books. When I did walk/cycle to work, I felt like a different woman. Asides from feeling a little bit smug; I had more energy and was generally more prepared for the day.
There are obvious benefits to walking or cycling to work; such as getting fit and losing weight. There are however, some major plus points that you might not have considered…
• Safety First
Teaching our children how to be street smart is a huge benefit to walking or cycling to school; riding a bike and being aware of road safety is a life skill. Drivers are usually more cautious when there are cyclists or pedestrians about.
• It’s Good for the Economy… And the Value of Your House
Spending money on the infrastructure of paths, sidewalks and cycle routes can help direct people to our independent businesses, and strengthen your local high street. If there’s more money in your local area, there’s money in your house. Think about it, how much more likely are you to stop for a coffee if you’re on foot - than in your car?
• You Might Make Some Friends
If there are more of us walking to work or school, the chances are you might meet someone to chat to on the way. It helps to build a sense of community when more people are invested in looking after themselves and the planet.
• Mother Earth Will Thank You
It goes without saying that less cars on the road means a happier planet. Something we all need to work towards.
• The School Gates
The rush to the school gates to get a space will no longer be a thing. You can merrily stroll on through whilst beaming an energised smile at the queue of cars waiting to get in.
• Your Brain Will Thank You
Exercise creates endorphins, the feel good hormone. Just like our muscles, blood flow to the brain gets more oxygen and all the good stuff going. All in all, you’ll feel happier and more productive. What a win win!
Ok, so what next?
Doing it for the Kids
There are many initiatives in place to get children to cycle or walk to school, such as Bikeability - the Government scheme that teaches children to learn to ride bikes safely. In my day it was called ‘cycling proficiency’ and it was brilliant. (Missing lessons to ride my bike in the playground? Yes.)
Walk Bike and Roll is fabulous organisation that really promotes kids biking, walking or rollerskating to school. My brother roller-skates like a champ; his kids are in awe of him. What a way to start the day!
What About the Grown Ups?
You could save a serious amount of money* on a new bike by signing up to the Bike2Work scheme. You can register as an employee or employer, so the benefits are for everybody! The amount of money you may save on fuel or train tickets is enough to don that lycra and get cycling.
If All Else Fails…
The world is in a really strange place right now. At every turn it feels like there’s something else that’s going wrong. We can start making a difference by doing the smallest things, like cycling, walking, investing in sustainable fashion or making small eco friendly swaps at home. If all of us take these steps together, the impact could make such a positive change.
Could you chat to your workplace or school about getting something going? If you’re the big boss, what changes could you make?
We would love to see pictures of you and your little ones making your way to school or work!
*The website advises there may be a small fee.