While it can be tempting to make the school run by car, especially with winter bringing darker and colder days, there’s so much to be gained by making the journey by bike or on foot instead.
We’ve rounded up just five of the benefits you can look forward to if you switch to an active school run over a car journey.
1. Improved concentration
Physical activity, like walking or cycling, actually helps to boost alertness, improve mental wellbeing and burn off excess energy. If your child is sluggish or sleepy in the mornings, struggles to pay attention in class, or has difficulty sitting still, that brisk morning stroll or short cycle to school will help them to turn up feeling more refreshed, engaged and focused.
2. A better night’s sleep
Engaging in some form of moderate activity each day, of which cycling or walking is a perfect example, can also help you to get to sleep faster each night and stay asleep for longer, impacting your overall sleep quality. This in turn can help you to feel less fatigued during the day, improving your mood and your productivity.
3. Less body fat
Just a 30-minute brisk walk each day is enough to help you burn between 150-200 calories and reduce your tummy fat according to some studies. What’s great about walking is it’s free, easily slots into your daily routine, and doesn’t require any specialist equipment. It’s recommended that adults get 150 minutes of heart-elevating exercise per week, so walking the school run instead of driving is a perfect way to meet this target.
4. No more traffic jams
How often have you crawled along in slow moving traffic only to see the same person walk by you or zip by in the cycle lane? While we may think driving is faster, at peak travel times like the school run, it can actually be quicker to walk or cycle. Idling in traffic for just 10 seconds also uses more fuel than stopping and restarting a car’s engine, so an active school run isn’t just more efficient, it’s more cost effective too.
5. Fresher air for your children
Air pollution is a contributing factor in around 40,000 UK deaths each year and cars are one of the worst emitters of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. As climate change becomes a more pressing issue, leaving the car at home, at least for the daily school run, can help to significantly reduce your personal carbon footprint and make the air around your child’s school safer.
To plan your quickest and safest route to school on foot or by bike visit: maps.thebridgwaterway.co.uk