Friday, October 3, 2014

Are you ready to walk? Shape Your Future and Cleveland County Nutrition & Fitness coalition are encouraging students, families, communities and schools across Oklahoma to “walk n’ roll” during Walk or Bike to School Day on October 8.

Shape Your Future is a statewide health initiative funded by the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) and the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) that encourages Oklahomans to eat better, move more and be tobacco free. Walk or Bike to School Day promotes physical activity and raises awareness for the need to have walkable communities that are safe for pedestrians, especially children. Not only is Walk or Bike to School Day an easy way for kids to stay active, but it also advocates the need for policies and projects that promote safe walking and bicycling, such as sidewalks, bicycle lanes, crosswalks and walking trails.

“Walking or riding bikes to school is a fun, easy way for your kids to get some of their daily physical activity,” said Amber Browning, RN, MPH, CHWC Health Promotion Specialist at Norman Regional Health System. “Walking or biking together as a family is also a great way to feel more connected to your family and your community, doing your heart good in more ways than one.”

Shape Your Future and Cleveland County Nutrition & Fitness are setting the stage with several ways participants can “walk n’ roll” on their way to school on October 8:

  • Start a “walk n’ roll” band. Take the whole family along, and invite friends and neighbors to participate too, making it a neighborhood event.
  • If you live too far from school or do not have access to safe routes, designate a starting point for you and your family to park. Then, get the show on the road and walk or bike from there.
  • Host an event at your school, like a “walk n’ roll” parade. Have it during a school assembly, and let students become “walk stars.”

To register a Walk or Bike to School Day event, visit www.walkbiketoschool.org. Registering a Walk or Bike to School Day event provides organizers access to free, downloadable materials, including stickers, certificates and customizable fliers. Last year, there were 4,467 registered events for Walk or Bike to School Day across the nation, including 75 events in Oklahoma. Events that register on the Walk or Bike to School website will be displayed on an interactive U.S. map, where neighboring communities, media and other organizations can identify who is holding an event in their area.

For more information about Walk or Bike to School Day, visit www.ShapeYourFutureOK.com. Connect with Shape Your Future on social media by liking Shape Your Future on Facebook and following @ShapeFutureOK on Twitter. Locally, the Cleveland County Nutrition and Fitness Coalition is active in helping schools, afterschool programs, workplaces and communities encourage more physical activity and with passing policies that support healthy eating. To learn more about what is happening with physical activity and nutrition in Cleveland County, contact Elizabeth Moody (405)307-1016