From May 29 to June 4 it’s bike to work (and school) week, and Healthy Kimberley is offering prizes to those who participate.
Healthy Kimberley board member and event organizer Ilona Hale says that increased physical activity can help both physical and mental health for people of all ages.
“Increased physical activity promotes healthy growth and development, better self-esteem and mental health, stronger bones, muscles and joints, better posture and balance, a stronger heart, a healthier weight, social interaction with friends, improved physical literacy, and better focus and concentration during school,” said Hale. “It also helps to prevent development of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and a host of other problems later in life.”
“In our society, it is considered a kindness to offer someone a ride. Every day legions of dutiful and well-meaning parents drive their children to school and back. Many children have come to expect this door-to-door service an I have heard parents pity the ‘poor child’ whose parents don’t pick them up and make them walk, suggesting some kind of inexcusable neglect.
“But at the same time, we are battling epidemics of childhood obesity and poor mental health and, as a nation, receiving failing grades on our physical activity scorecards year after year.
“Only 24 per cent of 5 to 17 year olds walk or bike to school. When their parents were in school, the number was 58 per cent,” said Hale.
“Many parents report safety as a reason for driving children to school, however more people are killed driving in cars than as pedestrians and the risk of a random abduction by a stranger in Canada is about 1 in 5 million,” said Hale. “So the health risks of driving and not being active are almost certainly greater than the risks of walking.”
Not only is walking or biking to school and work beneficial for one’s health, but it is also free.
Hale said, “active transport to school and elsewhere is a free, easy, accessible way to raise kids’ level of activity every day without relying on physical education classes or often expensive organized sports. So do your kids a favour… let them walk to school (and everywhere else)!”
To motivate families, Healthy Kimberley is offering draw prizes from Berley Skate Shop, Kootenay Mountain Works, Spirit Rock Climbing Gym, Gym 67, Big Magic Designs and many more local businesses.
To enter the draw, send Healthy Kimberley a picture of you and/or your children walking or biking to school, and ‘like’ the Healthy Kimberley Facebook page.
For more opportunities to win prizes you can register with the Kootenay Bike to Work Week at www.biketowork.ca. You can also donate to the West and East Kootenay Brain Injury Association by visiting the website as well. For more information contact Ilona Hale at (250) 427-4300 or visit the Healthy Kimberley Facebook page.